When I was a young boy I did many forms of cardiovascular exercise. I walked, ran, skipped rope, swam, wrestled and cycled.
Years later I did many other things for cardio health, including rowing, stair-stepping, stationary cycling, treadmill running and so on.
Now, notice the difference in what was listed in the two paragraphs.
The first set of cardio is natural. The second set is manufactured.
When I was a kid you didn’t run or cycle while watching tee-vee; nor did you wear headphones.
You may have cranked the radio while you trained – but that was about it.
Today, when you see people doing cardio, look how many are plugged into much more than a machine. They’ve got an ipod in their ears or a tee-vee before them as they run on an electrical machine.
And when the choice is between laziness and activity, if the gadgets are the only way to get you moving – I’m all for them.
Yet, I do find it interesting that, at one time I used to like music and tee-vee while I trained. I also enjoyed using aerobic machinery.
But today, when given the choice, I almost always gravitate toward the same exercises I did when I was a kid who was just having fun.
I walk, swim, skip rope and practice martial arts.
And i follow a program I set in motion in 1999, called Combat Conditioning. Ten years ago I introduced this type of training to the world – and I’ve been more surprised than anyone that it became an international best-seller.
Recently I converted my garage into a gym or dojo. I have two 12×12 mats – and each night I have my son and daughter, ages 8 and 4, respectively, doing exercises right out of the Combat Conditioning book and DVDs.
And I join in the fun with them.
Last night we did a set of Whirling Dervishes, followed by bear crawls, crab walks and tablemakers and Hindu pushups and bridging.
For most adults the routine could be over in a few minutes. Most people who have never trained this way are wiped out pretty fast – including body builders.
But kids – they can do a half-hour or more – and they love it. There’s no doubt that this program is giving them strength, flexibility, agility, endurance, strength – and CARDIO.
I think the cardio you get from a set of 500 Hindu squats – or 50 for that matter – is some of the best you can get. Many people say it IS the best. I’m happy they think so.
In terms of cardio done after Combat Conditioning, I prefer long walks and swimming – as well as my kung fu practice.
And the main reason I like these forms of cardio is because they aren’t cardio to me. They are times for me to focus, clear the cobwebs from my mind, center and connect to the Universe at a deeper level.
Likewise, I have no interest in treadmills and other electronic cardio machines for the same type of reason. When you plug into a gadget, the chances of you clearing the cobwebs and connecting to the Universe are slim, indeed.
Long distance running and other forms of LSD cardio – they’re not for me either as I believe they pound your body out of socket and fry your internal organs long before they’re ready to be cooked.
If you feel you must run – then hill sprints are best. Six or eight steep hills that go for 70-100 meters, done thrice per week – and voila – you’ve got a winner. Hills sprints will get your lungs and heart into far better shape than running six or eight miles per day.
The hill sprints will also burn a lot more fat than LSD cardio and bring out muscles you never knew you had.
And no, I do not believe hill sprints on a treadmill or some other gadget are “the same.”
Nothing beats the fresh air of the great outdoors – unless you’re living in Detroit.
Anyway, I’ve said enough. Time to put my rumpus into gear with another form of cardio that I’ll tell you about in the future.
P.S. You can get my Combat Conditioning book for nothing by agreeing to a test drive of the Furey Faithful membership program.