Hi everyone, my name is Brittani and over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my fitness and wellness journey -- My PHAT Life -- with you! Like many of you, I am working towards becoming a healthier me. Several times in my life, I was recommended to try cardio, because cardio means skinny, and skinny means healthy. WRONG!

So, we all know that there are many benefits to cardio. Here are a few things just to jog your memory:

  • Burns Fat
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Improves sex life
  • Expands lungs capacity
  • Lowers stress
  • Makes you feel good, but can also temporarily help with depression and anxiety
  • Reduces risk factors, such as heart disease, cholesterol, diabetes, and some cancers

While the list could go on, we all know that the number one benefit people look for is weight loss. When I started my journey that is all I would do –CARDIO, CARDIO, CARDIO! I would either do the treadmill, elliptical, the stair climber, or the bike. These are typically the go-to machines for most people, but there are so many other ways to get in your cardio!20180927 123038 

If you struggle to get through the same old, boring forms of cardio, it is time to start thinking outside the box! Your cardio workouts can be so much more than jumping on a treadmill. To start breaking down the walls of the cardio box, let us look at the actual definition of cardio. Cardio is short for cardiorespiratory training, which refers to any exercise that creates such an energy demand on your system that it elevates your heart rate and gets your blood pumping. There are so many exercises that fit into this category! 

After doing cardio on the run-of-the-mill machines for so long, I eventually got bored and started to look for other ways to get in my cardio. A co-worker approached me about going to a kickboxing class. At first, I was hesitant because I was just getting started on my fitness journey and was not in the best shape, but I decided to give it a try. I ALMOST DIED during my first class, lol, but I loved it! It was a continuous workout that lasted about 35 minutes.  I said to myself, "You know what, I can do this!"  Just to give you guys a little insight, the kickboxing class is broken up into 9 rounds and 9 stations. Each station is different and is comprised of kicking, punching, sit-ups, or pad work. Exercises change daily at each station. The stations are 3 minutes long and once the 3-minute timer is up, you begin a 1-minute exercise that's instructed by the trainer. This continues until you have completed all 9 stations. You are talking about a good workout!! I burn a good 350-400 calories a session. It may vary for everybody, but calories burned are calories burned, you feel me?!

After ditching the mundane machine routines, I found a cardio regimen that keeps me interested and entertained at the same time. I started going to 9Round Fitness in Hoover in August of 2017 and have been going at least 3 days a week since. All in all, cardio is great and it has many benefits but broaden your horizons! Get out and try new things that get your heart rate going and those calories burning!

More about the author:

UFit Fall Video Promo Untitled PageMy name is Brittani and I am a senior at UAB majoring in Kinesiology, minoring in Psychology. My fitness journey started three and a half years ago after a vacation with my daughter at Universal Studios. She was so excited to be there, as was I. She wanted to ride everything and I was so excited to ride with her. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I was too big for many of the rides, so instead of us enjoying all the rides together, she rode alone or with my wife. That was my breaking point – enough was enough! Things had to change…and they did. I took control of my life and my health. Three and a half years later, I am ready to ride ALL the rides with my daughter!

Please feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions! You can also check out my video above, where I give more insight into my cardio experience and how to find your own path in your fitness journey. Please note, I am not a dietician (yet?) or a doctor, but I can try to help you with any questions you may have, or we can even look for the answer together.  Have a great day everybody and stay active!!!