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How to Get "Cardio" Without Doing Aerobic Training

By: Matt Furey
Best Selling Author of "Combat Conditioning"

Most people think there is only one true method for getting good cardiovascular exercise in, and it usually involves LSD (short for long slow distance).

But those who train their bodies from the "inside-out" no better.

Yes, you can get your aerobic training in by running several miles. Or you can get it from swimming, cycling, playing hoops, using a Step Machine, and so on.

You can make sure you're getting your cardio by stopping every so often to check your pulse for 10 seconds, then multiplying that number by 6. And you can slap on a heart rate monitor to make sure that you stay "in the zone" while you train.

Nothing necessarily wrong with all of the above - except the fact that it takes a lot of time and isn't as effective as other methods for improving cardio function.

What OTHER methods?

Well, for one, running hills - or running sprints up hill. Run a steep hill a couple times a week and I guarantee your cardio DRAMATICALLY improves, even though you didn't hang out in the aerobic zone for 12 minutes.

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Get in a swimming pool and crank out a few hard laps. Get yourself out of breath - which supposedly means "anaerobic" or "without oxygen." Without oxygen my arse. Do a good hard sprint and you're sucking in more oxygen than you are when trotting around at a slow pace.

Then there are Hindu squats and pushups. When you're good at Hindu squats you can crank 500 in around 13 minutes. Definitely NOT an LSD workout, either. Let me tell you, when you're able to crank the BIG 500, your resting heart rate will have dropped so many beats you'll want to become a drummer. The same holds true for the Hindu pushups. You cannot work up to 50 or 100 or more straight without making a major shift in heart power.

Last of all, for today that is, there's the gold old-fashioned holding of stances. In martial arts you have "ma bu" or horse stance. Hold that puppy for 5 minutes and you'l be sweating from head to toe. The bridge, in all it's forms and guises is very much the same. As are handstands.

When you can hold a bridge 3 minutes while breathing comfortablly, when you can hold a wall chair or a handstand for 3 minutes, in comfort - I can assure you that your heart and lungs will be all the better for it - not to mention your muscles - and your mind.

Suppose you're a weight lifter and you don't want to give it up. What do I have to say about that? Well, nothing really. Keep pumping those weights and work some Combat Conditioning into the mix. You'll be all the better for it.

Copyright, Gold Medal Publications, Inc 2004


Editor's Note:

All of the above is covered in detail in Combat Conditioning. Be sure to get a set of the book and videos if you haven't already. To order go to Matt Furey

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Copyright © 2004 Bob Cairns. All rights reserved.