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For A Better Body Women Should Stick To 20 Minute Cardio Routines

Nov 11, 2007
For years I was under the impression that I would reach my physical goals through cardio exercise alone. I was afraid of the weight side of the gym and felt that women should remain at the elliptical machines. NOT TRUE. It was no surprise that I never achieved my goal, or came close for that matter. It finally hit me that I was working out 1-2 hours everyday and not seeing results. Sure I was thin but by looking at me I did not look like the athlete I wanted to resemble. I studied up a bit and learned that I was actually doing way too much cardio and I needed to revolutionize my workout.

Cardio is great for the heart, lungs and blood flow. It also helps to relieve stress and helps you sleep better through the night, so by no means am I saying it should be removed completely. I would be lost. When doing cardio the body initially uses fat for its fuel however this is not an effective source after about 20 minutes and the body uses lean muscle! Who wants to see their muscle fade away!? This is where strength training was first introduced to me.

Weight lifting strains the muscles creating tiny tears (this is where the muscle soreness comes from). These tears are repaired by the body after a workout and with it more muscle is created. Muscle needs lots of energy to sustain itself.

Just by adding one pound of muscle the body will need an additional 50 calories per day! This helps you to lose the weight while toning up. It is also better for the joints than cardio and the affects lasts longer than those of cardio. Cardio may burn more calories during the process but weight lifting burns calories during and for up to 2 hours after!

As stated above, I am not throwing cardio exercise out the window. When done moderately and safely it is great. The two forms of exercise actually complements each other. I still do a bit of cardio each time I work out but I stop at 20-25 minutes! This is my time to let out my frustrations and enjoy the time I have with my ipod playing in my ears and solitude from a busy day!

I want to stress that no woman should be afraid of weights. If you are afraid of getting bulky and hilk like, throw it out the window. A womens physiology does not resemble a mans and therefore she is not able to get huge. Testosterone is the number one factor allowing Arnold Schwarzenegger to look the way he did and we fortunately lack large amounts of this hormone. Weights allow women to look and feel strong, lean and sexy.

Below I will describe the best 20 minute cardio workouts!

It is called Interval Training and it can be applied to many different forms of cardio including boxing, running and biking.

The concept in a nutshell is shorter workouts, but higher intensity. This is accomplished by pushing hard for say two minutes and then slowing down for two minutes. If you repeat this cycle four more times then you have your 20 minutes. You could also do one minute hard, one minute easy and then repeat this nine more times.

Here is an example:

Interval training is perfect for running. If you are working out on a treadmill or running outdoors, it is the same routine. Start out with a warm up jog followed by two minutes of a challenging pace. This will not be your all out because you have to maintain it for two minutes, but a pace that will be very hard for you. You then follow this with two minutes of either a walk or a very slow jog. Repeat four more times and you have got yourself an effective cardio workout in only 20 minutes.

This concept can be applied to many different forms of cardio: two minutes hard, two minutes easy, repeat four more times. Or one minute hard, one minute easy, repeat nine more times.

You will get your blood flowing, your heart pumping and reap all the benefits cardio has to offer all in only 20 minutes.
About the Author
Taylor Ryan is a personal trainer dedicated to educating women to get the best body they can get. Her company TotalTonedWomensClub stresses the importance of weight training as a method to get the toned and strong body they want. Check out http://www.totaltonedwomensclub.com for more.
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