Is Cardio Necessary?

Is cardio really necessary? I hate the typical “cardio” activities. When I talk about cardio I am referring to exercises bikes, treadmills, cross trainers, stair climbers etc. Personally I really don’t see the point of sitting on a machine inside a building simulating an activity that can be performed outdoors. However I have found out the hard way that you sometimes need to incorporate a bit of cardio activity into your weight training.

Why I Hate Cardio

My hatred of the cardio activities mentioned above developed when I was doing the Body for Life program. The program required you to do cardio 3 times a week at high intensity. Instead of mixing it up I did 99% of my cardio on an exercise bike. I got great results but the experience scarred me for life. It put me off exercise bikes for life!

Get Your Cardio From Outdoor Activities

Before I started the business and more recently before we had the baby I used to love riding my mountain bike. I put road tyres on it because there is no bush near us. At my peak I used to ride up to 5 times a week with some really long rides on the weekend.

We live close to the city and it was the best way to see Sydney. Early in the mornings there was very little traffic. The fact that it was an excellent cardio activity was just a bonus.

My wife and I also loved to walk. If we were going somewhere on the weekend and it was’t too far we would walk. You would be surprised how far you can walk in 40 mins – 1 hour.

treadmill meme

Sometimes when we would say to people we were walking home from somewhere. They would look at you as though you had four heads. Everyone is so used to driving everywhere they forget how quick and enjoyable it is to walk somewhere.

So between the bike riding and walking I used to get a fair bit of cardio activity. There was now way I needed to resort to getting on a treadmill or exercise bike.

Life Gets in the Way of Cardio

However after starting the business I was so busy I didn’t get out on the bike as much. But after Jake was born everything stopped. He was born in early May and it just happened to be the coldest and wettest winter in Sydney for ages. To top it off my wife tore her meniscus and had to have knee surgery. So we stopped doing everything.

I was still weight training and eating pretty well but really put on a gut over winter. I should have cut back my calories. But when you are wearing heaps of clothes all the time the weight really crept on me. When I noticed I was gaining weight I couldn’t just resort to my old trick of jumping on the mountain bike or walking.

Cardio Is Necessary

Now that the weather is warming up and my wife’s knee is getting better we are starting to walk again. I am also going to try and get the bike out on weekends if I get the time. If that doesn’t get the job done I will get a punching bag which is also a great alternative to exercise bikes and treadmills.

We also got a Nintendo Wii Fit. When it was cold and raining in winter we got sick of watching TV or DVDs. We bought one of these after a recommendation from a friend. Just like a treadmill or exercise bike it is no substitute for outdoor activity but it gets you off your backside and is genuinely a good laugh.

So with a bit of luck all these extra activities will hopefully allow me to keep the weight off. I realize that when I get fair dinkum with the bodybuilding that I will probably need to get back on a treadmill or an exercise bike. But in the mean time I will just incorporate these far more enjoyable activities into my weight training.

If you have got any other alternatives to “cardio” exercises feel free to drop me a line and I will add these in.