Cardio is defined as any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up and keeps it up for a prolonged period of time. Discussing cardio with instructor, Becky DiBiase she explained it like this: Cardio increases your heart rate; stimulates blood flow and gets the blood circulating more effectively.  Cardio helps with mental health, strengthens your heart and relieves stress.  It also helps with longevity and keeps us alert.  Sounds amazing!

How much cardio should we do?  That depends on many factors, such as your current fitness level; your wellness goals; and current and past injuries.  Also, what other workouts are you doing?  A fitness schedule should reflect all the above, while working with your personal goals for your fitness.

Pilates is not all about cardio, this is not spin class.  Pilates can be gentler with less impact; which if you have injuries or medical issues, is obviously preferable.

Becky was telling me about the different ways of cardio in Pilates.

  • Jumpboard class using the reformer stimulates the body to get into cardio mindset and can really get you going. The instructor will adjust for your body requirements. More impact – sure. Less impact because of injuries - they can adjust to two feet together; shoes to soften the impact; springs lighter to reduce impact.  You still get your cardio but it is lighter on the legs.  Also, a great side effect - if the springs are lighter - then you get more core workout!

Jump Board is done lying down, so the spine is in neutral, hence no back compromise.  Becky also explained that you can do jump board with your hands.  Whaaat? Sit or squat with your feet at the headrest and use your hands on the jump board – that would give you a huge workout.  Cardio for sure!

  • Bosu can be used for cardio depending on the class. Bosu does have more impact on you, so your instructor would be the best person to chat with.
  • Bootcamp! Sounds like hard work; but in fact, it is an amazing workout.  Using free weights, bosu, ball, kettle bells, bands etc, can give you an amazing cardio and strength training workout.  Each instructor teaches to their students cardiovascular and fitness ability. Lots of corrections and modifications are given to the students; whether your class is online or in studio.
  • Barre Classes require balance, leg work, with lengthening through muscle groups. It is excellent for osteoporosis and also for those who are pregnant; or who require stabilization and balance help. It also gives you a low impact, cardio workout.

As soon as you increase your heart rate you are doing cardio.  Even for those of us who have knee or ankle issues, there is a cardio workout waiting for you.  Each instructor at ALB works within your capabilities; while making sure you get the workout you want.

As Vikki says: “You don’t need to be fit to do these classes; you just need to want to be fitter.”