Barre Cardio

Why you need Barre Cardio in your life

Words: Gemma Dawkins

Image: Marceau Photography

Ah, cardio. For many of us, the word brings up memories of monotonous treadmill-trawling, or kilometres of leg-deadening cycling on a bike that takes you nowhere. Yawn.

If cardio exercise just isn’t on your radar, though, you’re missing an important element in your fitness regime. That’s because cardio specifically improves the health and function of your heart and lungs – you know, those vital organs that do a little more than help you feel great in your skinny jeans. Australia’s department of health names cardiovascular disease as “the leading cause of death and disease burden in Australia”, and one of the greatest risk factors is a simple sedentary lifestyle. That’s right – it’s not cancer or car accidents you need to be most concerned about, but working at a desk.

Looking past the doom and gloom, cardio can also be a whole lot of FUN – especially when there’s a barre involved. That’s why we’ve relaunched our brand new Barre Cardio class, on the timetable as of this week. We promise you won’t need any dreary stints on the elliptical once you’ve tried this class.

So what is exactly is cardio, anyway? Sometimes referred to as aerobic exercise (we’re looking at you, Jane Fonda), cardiovascular fitness “enhances the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the working muscles”. Yep, being cardio fit will actually make your strength and toning sessions more efficient – and give you better results. It also continues to pay off even after you’ve collapsed in a sweaty heap, because “your body continues to burn calories at an accelerated pace for up to two hours after aerobic activity”.

With all the hype surrounding strength and resistance training in recent years, you’d be forgiven for thinking of cardio as the daggy Jazzercise of the past. But before you disregard sweatbands and heavy breathing, consider this: “Strength and cardiovascular workouts can work synergistically…while [resistance training] may be more efficient than cardio when it comes to fat loss, performing both types of workouts comes with better results than performing strength training alone. That way, you get a major calorie burn from cardio workouts as well as more muscles and an improved metabolic rate from strength workouts”. So, your best bet is to schedule a healthy mix of Barre Body, Barre Tone and Barre Cardio classes (with a lovely Barre Yin session for recovery).

And the benefits aren’t all physical. Women’s Health Magazine remind us that “cardio is one of the best ways to slash stress, which is a waistline-wrecker all by itself” – not to mention no fun at all.

So, what can you expect from a Barre Cardio class? We’ve combined the best bits of interval training with steady state cardio options (so there’s something for everyone, no matter your fitness level). You’ll also see your favourite barre exercises, moving through a larger range of movement to keep your heart rate lifted and your body sweating. Think high knees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers and skaters, mixed with high back chairs, jumping lunges, leg lifts and port de bras arms. If that sounds like mumbo jumbo, book a class and we’ll show you the magic!