Fit Tip: Kick Up the Cardio

I don’t suggest doing your cardio in a ball gown and heels…

That’s right kids, it’s time to kick up the cardio and sweat it out. Bikini season may be over, but staying in shape is a year-round must. Cardio is one of the most important things you can do for your body. Not only does it make a difference on the inside (improving your cardiovascular health), you will see results on the outside too (especially if you stick to it 3 or 4 times a week).

Every week I work with my trainer, Jarett Del Bene. We always mix up my exercises, but one thing remains constant and that’s the cardio element.

After a particularly grueling cardio session, I decided to take advantage of Jarett’s expertise and asked him a few questions about cardiovascular exercise so I could share it with all of you… Check out my questions and his answers below!

Why is cardio so important?

Cardio is important because it strengthens your heart and therefore it does not have to work as hard to pump blood through your body.

How do you get the most out of each cardio session?

I suggest doing cardio in the morning before your first meal. Your body is most likely to use fat as the energy source because your glycogen stores are depleted. If you are concerned about muscle loss, take 15-25 grams of whey protein before your morning cardio session.

Any tips to make it a little easier?

Make a cardio playlist on your iPod to get you through the workout. Pick out your favorite songs that you love listening to so you forget about the time.

Aerobic exercise is also important for weight control and it is great for blasting fat. To avoid getting strung out on running, mix up your cardio routine as much as possible. There are plenty of fun cardio exercises such as kickboxing (which I love), bicycling, using the elliptical, swimming, and even step aerobics. This way you will keep you body guessing and your heart pumping!

My favorite cardio exercise is kickboxing. What’s yours? (And you cannot say, “Shopping!”)

XO Lauren

P.S. Let me know if you would like me to do a blog about kickboxing! And for more of my fun fitness ideas, click here.

Photo: weheartit
Categories: Get Fit, Shape Up
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  • debora f

    I love run and swim kiss kiss

  • Finn

    i like to run but i get bored very fast…but i always liked doing videos to especially dancing ones.

  • Melissa Panici

    My favorite cardio exercise is my tredmill!! I have been running every night but I might start doing this in the morning since your trainer said it was better:) Thank you for these tips Lauren!

  • Glorietta88

    I love run but I haven’t too much resistance, so when I go to run every 5 minutes I stop myself and I walk for 5 minutes because I can’t breathe…how can I do to improve???

  • natalie paredes

    I do Lesley Sanson’s “”Four fast miles”” its a conbination of walking and jogging.

  • Jennifer Houlahan

    Such a great reminder! I love creating fun new workouts like these! :)

  • CFG4384

    I love to bike, play soccer or ice hockey

  • Carolyn Copenhaver

    Kickboxing is my favorite! I use Jillian Michaels workout DVDs in the fall and winter when it’s too cold to go outside. Also running when it’s not in the middle of the summer.

  • Katherine R Behring

    yes, Lauren please do a post on kick boxing if you get a chance :)

  • Kellie Norton

    This is a great tip to work off those waffle cookies 😉 Kickboxing is definitely one of my favs but I’m also a huge fan of zumba because it sometimes feels like the same thing I do in the nightclub 😉 but lately I’ve only had time for running so I use Jarett’s tip and I have my own playlist titled “”VS”” which stands for Victoria’s Secret, it gives me motivation to look like one of them :) Thanks for the tips Lauren!!!

  • Melissa LaRose

    I love to run… The way my mom and i stay motivated is to find different 5k’s, 6k’s and even half marathons in the area that I live that all raise money for good causes… that way I not only get to stay in shape but i know that im raising money for people who need the help!

  • Amanda Cannady

    My favorite is dancing. Its fun so it doesn’t feel like a chore. I also love scuba diving, and swimming. I would love a post on kick boxing, I’m always looking for ways to spice up my work outs.

  • Brianna Padilla


  • Jeri Leigh Siss

    ALWAYS looking for playlist ideas – would you mind sharing?

  • Xo_EyeBee

    Right now I’m training for a 5k run! I’m excited to run my first race this Fall :)
    My favorite fun workout is ZUMBA! I love the incorporation of dance with cardio mixed with a high energy, fast pace beat!

  • Michela Garau

    Yeah, I would love a blog about your kick boxing. me too, with my trainer Alberto, do cardio! And I’m goign to re-start it. xoxo

  • Laura Edwards

    snap, need a playlist myself Jeri!

    I love the treadmill, walking at a serious pace but putting on a serious incline… makes it like mountain climbing!

  • claudia pereira

    This post comes in such good time! i decided to take more care of myself and i acshlaty joined a gym. I workout at the treadmill 2 or 3 days a week ate 7.30 am then i go to my classes at college. Whenever i have time i go back to the gym at the end of the day to do some pilates or body combat. And i feel so much better now with this new routine!

    Love you Lauren :)

  • Laura Timmer

    I’ve been swimming a lot lately because I recently had surgery on my foot, and it is my all-time favorite cardio exercise! You can just keep going and going, but you don’t realize how hard you’ve really worked until you’re out. I would also love if you would share your favorite workout playlist!

  • Kad2013

    I love to do Zumba. It is such a great workout and so much fun to do!

  • Morgan Walsh

    spinning and interval running on the treadmill…the intervals make a workout fly by and some great tunes help keep you pumped up at a fast pace!!

  • Amy Nugent

    I would love to hear your cardio playlist!!

  • Kelby Peachey

    Yes, please do a blog post about kickboxing as a workout. That would be great! I love my ZUMBA! Easy on the joints and you can do it at your own level of intensity.

  • Michael Turner

    I’m totally going to try doing cardio! My mother has a bad heart, and I think if I set the example, I can get my whole family doing it because heart problems is in my family genes and I want it to skip me badly.

    I’ll surely take pictures of cardio and post them here :)

  • Kayla Queen

    TurboFire is great! It’s one of the programs you can get from BeachBody and you can do it at home. It also has strength training, too, so it’s the best of both worlds. Lauren might like it because it is a lot of kickboxing moves incorporated with dancing! Really fun. :) I also really like the elliptical when I want something not as intense but it still works my heart.

  • Stephanie Ramsey

    The stair machine!! I didn’t want to get on one for the longest time, but now that I’m used to it I’m thankful I did. :)

  • Jennifer Fox

    I’m all for Zumba too! I teach it twice a week and it’s SO FUN and you don’t even realize how many calories you’re burning off!!

  • Christina Rasmussen

    The best thing for me is to go for a swim right before I go to school:)

  • Danielle van Balen

    Please! A blog about kickboxing would be sooo great!!!

  • Lupsie

    I love to rollerblade by the water by my apartment. It’s so relaxing listening to my ipod and being by the water. Also, my husband and I love to bike ride and in our neighborhood there are so many hills so an hour will get you a good workout without having to be in a stuffy, smelly gym.

  • Jasmin Matter

    i play tenis like everyday but i really wanna try kickboxing ^^

  • Crystal Boyle

    Running marathons! Or just running in general. Love it!

  • Kimmy S

    LOVE this post. I’m a runner but lately I’ve been slacking. I’m reinvigorated now, thank to you Lauren! And I’m really interested in trying out kick boxing. Has anyone tried actual boxing before? It’s actually really fun!

  • BeeLips

    Nothing beats a night spent out dancing. You get both the cardio and the fun!

  • Jennifer Villarreal

    i LOVE indoor cycling, i go to my gym indoor cycling classes and the teachers each have different styles but its soo much fun. The room is absolutely dark except for these little red lights that go around the mirror in front of the room. The teacher’s play loud music and its so true when they say, time flies when your having fun. But dont get me wrong its a great work out.

  • Julie Haugan

    I was going to say shopping! Are you sure that doesen`t count? I like to believe that running around in high heels is like cardio for my legs.. does that count? :)

    I do Zumba twice a week and spinning once a week. I absolutely HATE spinning, but its great for my body! And I love hiking :)

    I want to try kickboxing but I`m afraid to make a fool of my self:/ Pleas make a post about it!

  • Alexandra Steinmetz

    I’m a runner through and through. I always try other things, but nothing keeps me stress free and in shape like running.

  • Katrin Stockmann

    I like thairobic, a mix of aerobic and thaiboxing.

    try this workout 2 times a week and you will feel better in shape :)

  • Carolina Chaves

    I do taerobics 4 times or 5 times a week, I’m totally addicted and I’ve seen the changes in my body and health. A great way to stay in shape + it’s fun.

  • Janett Andrea Guerrero Retamose

    Idk if surfing counts, but i love surfing (:

  • Shelaine Morrison

    My daily work out consist of 30-60 minutes of machine like the long-strand runner or oliptical. I am not a runner, I am not a fan of the treadmill… being 6 foot it’s not exactly easy on my joints and my back. But I will if I must. The time difference depends on if I am taking one class or two. I like to do a fat burning pilates but my absolute favorite is TRX! TRX is a suspension training class that I love because you are using your own body weight to improve your fitness. You have got to try it out!

  • Martie Phillips

    I do the Zumba workout for the xbox kinect. It’s awesome and you can get your friends to join to make it even more fun! :)

  • Brittney Gonsalves

    I would say my favorite cardio exercises are running and hiking. I am a hiking FREAK. I have done 41 hikes since May, and I am aiming at another 35 on a list I wrote down. I live on Oahu, Hawaii, but once I complete all the hikes here, I want to go to other islands and conquer those too!

  • Mary Lauren

    I love Zumba!!

    How long does your trainer recommend to do cardio each day?

    thanks for posting this to keep me motivated!

  • Stephanie Vasquez

    ZUMBA is my favorite!!!!!

  • michelle cannizzaro

    I love zumba, but I also love my dvd at home, turbo jam! It’s easy becaue it’s at home, and I’m always out of breath by the end; I do this 3-4 times a week.

  • Connie Lofska

    Bicycling ! 😀

  • Connie Lofska

    And yes.. ! I’d like a blog about kickboxing.. !! :)
    I wanted to start too, so I need more infos.. ! 😀
    ~thank you :)

  • tasha gaddis

    Cardio in the morning before your first meal? So dont eat breakfast?

  • Amanda Cataldo

    I’d love a blog about kickboxing!! i’ve been wanting to try it for a while, maybe this is a sign i should!!

  • Laura Martin Hernandez

    Yes Lauren, please! keep posting fitness exercices and stuff!!

    I love doing Step, Aerobic and Pilates, but lately I started working out with Body Pump and Body Combat, both by Les Milles (they do them in some fitness centers that actually pay to be able to teach them). They are very different even if the names can be messed up. Body Pump are series of choreographed muscular exercises that you do with a bar and different weight plates and discs for each song and muscular groups (you can’t work arms and legs with the same weight!) The routines change every 3 months, so you don’t get bored of the songs, and the tunes are just really good to work with. Body Combat are coreographed cardio exercises that mix different martial arts (capoeira, karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai I think), the songs are good and the coreographs easy to remember, it’s just hard to do it with proper combat style and without getting exhausted! It’s a high cardio exercice, perfect if that’s what you’re looking for.
    I also do “”DMove”” in my gym, they are songs with cute dances based on aerobics and fitness routines, I guess it’s quite similar to the Zumba thing you guys talk about, but the different choreographs are developed by fitness teachers!
    If any of you try them or actually work out with these, let me know!! I lo-lo-love them :)

  • Ashley Lattanzio

    My roommate & I have been wanting to learn kick-boxing! Please share!!

  • Stephanie Prior

    pole dancing!!!

  • Laurelle

    Bikini season is just around the corner for us!! (here in New Zealand!) I love zumba and my crosstrainer… but my friend and I are going to try out pole dancing soon!! Can’t wait!!

  • Marie

    I love to dance. I am on my schools Poms team and we have practice monday-friday and games on friday night/ saturday afternoons. I also take jazz, ballet, pointe, tap, and lyrical.

  • Brittney Bailey

    I love ZUMBA!! Have you ever tried it Lauren? It is SO much fun!! You would love it! :)

  • valerie bastian

    I love kickboxing! my university offers the one-unit classes, but it never works with my schedule :(

    I take advantage of the hills in the neighborhood/on campus. If you watch tv, use the commercials to do push-ups, crunches, etc. and rest/drink water during the actual show.

  • Ayesha K

    Elliptical is pretty much my thing. I get bored with the other exercises. But I like a lot of high energy dance when I am working out in a group of people!

  • Corrine

    I love doing the TRX, which is suspension training. By far the best workout I have ever done!

  • Sarah Ellis

    What is on your cardio playlist?

  • Sarah Pugliese

    I’d love a kickboxing post! I took a class a looong time ago and lost touch with it, but I really enjoyed the routine. Looking forward to it!

  • Sarah Jarvis

    I love poledancing for fitness – it’s the best thing I’ve found for building up core control, as well as works up a sweat and tones muscles! Also enjoy doing Ministry of Sound workout dvds when I can’t get to a gym.

  • Samantha Crous

    Zumba!!!! It is fun and I love the different music. I use to go to the classes and loved it. Now I have got the dvds and do it in my office every night after work. The thing I love about it is that each of the routines are only about 10 minutes long (or not even that) so you are not doing the same routine for the whole work out. The dvd I have got has about 10 different routines which is great! It doesnt feel much like exercise its more like partying! xxx

  • Cat

    How about post-cardio hair care, for when you don’t have time for a wash?

  • Izzy Feeney

    Definitely power walking or jogging, it’s easy so I can do it whenever and I pick different routes so it doesn’t get boring :)

  • Pooja Kumar

    I would love to post about kickboxing. I used to teach it while I was training for my black belt in tae kwon do. I am ready to get back into it and would love blogging from the perspective of an experienced person starting out again from the beginning!

  • Kirsten Glaze

    Interval running is great for building up cardio! There is a great iphone ap called couch to 5k that I use x

  • Alliekat

    i love zumba and a kickboxing post would be awsome!

  • Leona Sherman

    I love zumba! and i want to take up bicycling. Does any one know of a good bike to buy?

  • Masha Tomc

    Kickboxing and aerobics are amazeballs 😉

  • diana seitanidou

    hahaha i was going to say shopping! haha i love dancing and riding the bike :)

    cardio has saved my life, no joke , it works and everyone should start it!

  • Juan C Montalvo

    I hate doing excercise… Especially in public, but I like doing pilates and tomorrow when I wake up I’ll try doing some hip hop dancing.

  • Ingrid Roberts

    TaeBo! Billy Blanks kicks my butt and I can do his DVD’s at home

  • natalie jones


  • Julianne

    Great post! :) More of the same please!xx

  • Jennifer Sellen

    i hear zumba is such a great cardio exercise and fun because of the music and dance moves… i think i’m gonna try that. i hear the wii fit is good. any suggestions regarding the wii??

  • Sammi Sheppard

    I love kickboxing! A post on kickboxing would be great! Or one about working out in tight quarters (like a dorm or small apartment).

  • Juanita Eskins

    I love doin Yoga! It feels great! Or just jogging!

  • Violetta Privalova

    Nice post!

  • Aisling Annie McGuinness

    I love Kickboxing as well. Csan you do a blog about it? xx

  • Rachel Bonello

    dance dance dance! anything…zumba…latin ballroom…hiphop…but the best workout for your overall body (in my experience) is ballet. It whoops ur butt! Made me the dancer i am today and kept me in shape all throughout high school


  • Kelsey Bird

    Cardio-bag class!!

  • Deanna Drake

    My fave cardio…. My treadmill + Lifetime Movie Network Channel. Time flies by when ur caught in the drama of the movie, and u have the treadmill set to change speeds and inclines on its own.

  • Aja Doe

    While cardio is important, weight trainingn is important as well. If you have more muscle mass (even lean), you burn more calories even when you’re not moving.

    I like taking long walks and swimming. I also run and do bikram yoga. I do not like the process of the last two, but I love the results.

  • diana

    Mine is Turbo Kick, or the P90x Cardio X

  • Meredith

    spin class is awesome and a really good calorie burner. speed walking on the treadmill with a new magazine is by far my favorite works your butt and calf muscles too!

  • Kimmy S

    oh great tips!! i def need to do more cardio. one of my resolutions is to run 3x a week : )

  • Stephanie Prior

    i currently go to the gym 3 x a week (even over Christmas! :)) there are a number of reasons why I go such as health and fitness, having that extra ‘me’ time and also for my hands and feet. I suffer such bad cold hands and feet, doctor has told me this is due to poor circulation, cardio has literally made it disappear!! I also have been doing pole dancing for 3 years, for fitness only. It is great for your core, strengthens your muscles, tones and most of all it’s so much fun!! Especially when you go with a group of girly friends!

  • soupforthegirlysoul

    This is awesome, cardio is one of the best exercises you can do!

    let me know if you follow my blog, ill check yours out too!! :)

  • amanda megan

    I do at least 30 minutes of cardio at least 3-4 times a week, (plus abs and free weights). I am not seeing a difference in my body! (My upperbody-arms, collar bone area, and especially my stomach). And I eat healthy! What can I do differently?

  • Christina Palmer

    can you do a blog on gym fashion? I hate super trendy workout clothes, but I LIVE in the gym. What can I wear to look cute, but still look like I mean business!?

    I think you should create a fit line in addition to your LC brand at Kohls!

    ..just sayin..

  • Lizeth M Camarena

    I love kickboxing too!! Yesterday was my first class of the year..I love the after feeling of working everything part of my body. :)

  • Morgan Hohbein

    I love spinning class and bootcamps! I agree that switching up your workout is key to getting results!

  • Melly Myrans

    I extremely love going to my kickboxing class!

  • Emma Green

    I love running and zumba! I’d love to get back into kickboxing though – the classes in my area stopped running last year :-(

  • Ines Goncalves

    making a playlist for running is a great idea but its so hard to find enough songs that really get you motivated and energized !

  • Haley Fleck

    Is Tae Bo considered kickboxing?

  • henhao


  • Beauty to Sparkle

    I love to power walk! Keep me in shape and does not drain me out!

    Check out my beauty and motivational blog to find out my favorite inspirational quote and simple tip on lining your waterline!
    Here is the link:

    Thanks, Dina

    P.S. If you like what you see, please don’t forget to follow :)

  • Ricki

    I was wondering if doing the elliptical would work as running for 45 min?

  • Hatcher

    Running with my dog outside, hes huge so when i get tired he keeps me going (dragging me along on his jog) I try to spice it up by going on different trails and such seeing nature makes you feel pretty fresh and fit.

  • Ellen Coyle

    Running! My dad’s ran 7 marathons so he keeps me encouraged:) I love swimming as well

  • Miss Limon

    Would LOVE to hear some new ideas of ways to mix up cardio. I prefer the high intensity cardio for short a amount of time simply because I dont have much time to spend at the gym during the week. thanks!! =)

  • Erika Jeanine

    ice skating, roller blading

  • Erika Jeanine

    ice skating, roller blading

  • TStrahlendberg

    gotta love those legs AND the dress!
    I love cardio while having fun. Beach volleyball, tennis, swim dates with friends.
    Best side effect is the sore tummy afterwards, as you are laughing so hard 😉

  • TStrahlendberg

    gotta love those legs AND the dress!
    I love cardio while having fun. Beach volleyball, tennis, swim dates with friends.
    Best side effect is the sore tummy afterwards, as you are laughing so hard 😉

  • TStrahlendberg

    Got to love those legs and of course the dress!!
    I really enjoy sports where I get to spend some time with friends and have fun en masse!
    Beach Volleyball, Tennis, swim dates, looong bike rides with dipping into a lake close by…
    Amazing side effect: you work out even longer in comparison to doing “”regular”” workouts AND your abs get trained along the way as you can’t stop laughing :)
    Thank you for sharing this!!!

  • TStrahlendberg

    Got to love those legs and of course the dress!!
    I really enjoy sports where I get to spend some time with friends and have fun en masse!
    Beach Volleyball, Tennis, swim dates, looong bike rides with dipping into a lake close by…
    Amazing side effect: you work out even longer in comparison to doing “”regular”” workouts AND your abs get trained along the way as you can’t stop laughing :)
    Thank you for sharing this!!!

  • melis

    I get so… bored w/ cardio and am always looking to mix it up. I would love a blog on kickboxing!

  • melis

    I get so… bored w/ cardio and am always looking to mix it up. I would love a blog on kickboxing!

  • melis

    I get so… bored w/ cardio and am always looking to mix it up. I would love a blog on kickboxing!

  • melis

    I get so… bored w/ cardio and am always looking to mix it up. I would love a blog on kickboxing!

  • louli

    thank you :)

  • louli

    thank you :)

  • louli

    thank you :)

  • louli

    good ideas :)

  • Janice Williams

    I love Zumba!!!

  • Taylor

    Wow I never thought about the doing cardio before you eat to burn fat! Glad I know now.



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