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It's in the Cardio

I see more and more people “bragging” about how they never do cardio and this worries me. I’m not worried because I enjoy cardio and think everyone else should enjoy cardio too. I’m worried because I don’t think people understand the importance and function of cardio-vascular workouts. I recognize that the majority of people don’t like cardio. But just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. There are so many options for cardio-vascular workouts, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that’s at least “manageable” to you. Often people relate cardio to hard work and decide it isn’t worth the effort. Cardio IS hard and cardio IS a lot of work. There’s really no way around it. But before you decide to cut cardio completely out of your training regiment, I want you to consider what you’re really doing. Cardio comes from the greek word kardia, which literally means “heart”. Thus cardio training really means “heart training”. The heart is undoubtedly the most important muscle in your body; do you really think you should let it go untrained? Some people further argue that cardio training takes up too much of their time. I understand that people are busy, but the ACSM recommends that, at a minimum, people only perform 20 minutes of cardio training 3 times a week. An hour a week, that’s only about 0.006% of your week.  You’re telling me that you’re not willing to give up 0.006% of your week for the sake of your own health? I’m not going to tell you to stop lifting and to start doing only cardio. I enjoy lifting and I too would much rather die at 99 and be ripped than die at 100 and be skin and bones. I get it, but I want you to realize that although big biceps may look cool, they really serve no purpose. Your heart however, is what is keeping you alive. Take care of it. Jack Burdick is majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and along with his weightlifting workouts, he competes in marathons and ultra-marathons (50 mile races) and is looking to earn a Cross-Fit title or to be recognized with The World’s Fittest Man title which is reserved for an ultra-endurance power athlete.