We all probably heard about the cardio workout: whether it was mention in the gym or on television. And perhaps you understand the meaning of cardio workout, but do you know which are the best exercise that will give you maximum results? Keep reading and find out what exactly will raise your heartbeats.
Cardio exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate to at least 40% of the maximum. Harder the cardio training is, more oxygen to cells your muscles will get. The more oxygen muscles get, the faster it will break down glucose and create fuel (ATP) for them.
The goal of the cardio workout is to feel better and raise your endurance.
So, Which Exercise Can I Do
Walking – A lot of people think walking is exercise. Unfortunately, walking is not considered exercise. Walking is an activity, and it can be count toward warm-up perhaps, but not as cardio exercise. When we mention walking as cardio, we always refer to faster walking, not normal, regular walking.
Running – with a few different types of this, we can talk between, jogging or sprinting. Keep in mind: Slow running burns calories, but sprints do it more efficiently and better.
High Intensity Interval Training – Short intervals at maximum intensity followed by short periods of rest. One of my favorites. The best all-around workout that burns fat and calories efficiently.
Bike Cycling – Cycling puts in function a lot of muscles in legs and helps elevate heart rate.
Stair Climbing – Uses more muscles than fast walking.
Rope Jumping – Also one of my favorite exercises. It’s cheap, easy to do and burns tons of calories. If you can remember doing this for hours back when you were a kid, you will be surprised how exhausted you will be now.
Swimming – One of the benefits of living close to see is, naturally, is the benefit of being able to swim often. Swimming activates more muscles than cycling or running. Excellent workout, as long as you are not just floating… With swimming, your muscles will be active all the time while lungs capacity will be raised well.
Rowing – Works both the upper and lower body and is low stress on joints and ligaments, but can cause serious back pain if it’s not done properly.
Benefits of Cardio Exercise
- Weight Loss
- Stronger Heart
- Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
- Increased Bone Density
- Reduces Stress & Depression
- When you exercise your body releases endorphins which are natural pain killers.
- Better Sleep
- Maintain muscle strength into old age
- More Energy
- Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease (No.1 Killer) and Stroke (No.5 Killer).
- Strengthens Lungs
- Live Longer
- Less Likely to Get Sick
How To Start
It is very important to start slow and increase the time you are active and the intensity of your workout. Walking (fast walking) is the safest and easiest way to get started. Increase the amount of time you walk and the speed you are walking and before you know it you will be ready to dip into the wonderful world of cardio exercise.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends practicing cardio exercise 3-5 days per week, 20-30 minutes each day, to improve health. For weight loss, they advise increasing the duration to 50-60 minutes per session.
What is YOUR Level
We can divide the cardio workout into 3 different levels. But before, you need to know what is your MHR (max heart rate). To calculate your MHR, simply subtract your age from 220. So someone who is 30 years old has an MHR of 190 (220-30=190).
- MHR: 40% to 60% of max heartbeat
- Duration: 40 min or more
- Specification: possibility to talk normally (without short breathing) during exercise
- Activity: fast walking, slow cycling, slow swimming
This type of workout is suitable for beginners and those in lower physical conditions with higher fat.
- MHR: 70% of max heartbeat
- Duration: 20 to 40 min
- Specification: heavier breathing during a workout. Unlike low intensity, which is recommended after strength training, this workout is recommended to be performed independently
- Activity: jogging, medium cycling, swimming.
More difficult than low intensity, but spends considerably more energy. It is recommended for those who already have some level of condition.
- MHR: around 80% to 85% of max heartbeat
- Duration: 5 to 20 minutes
- Specification: Due to very high MHR, it is impossible to perform for a long time. Especially suitable for those who want to work on their short burst of energy output, like sprinters.
- Activity: fast running, fast cycling or cycling uphill, fast swimming.
This is the most intense training and its efficiency and capability of performing depend on the condition of an individual. Not suitable for beginners.
Cardio workout is the best way to raise your endurance, boost your metabolism, an important step toward maintaining your body in great shape and health. It definitely benefits your general resistance to illness, helps you lose that extra weight you are dying to get rid of, boosts production of hormones that repair your cells and tissues, and gives you more strength. Cardio workout is something that all, no matter of age, sex or fitness level should consider working on as it has many benefits.
So, include cardio in your workout plan.
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