Cardiovascular exercise – more commonly known as ‘cardio’ – has always been an important part of any fitness routine. But what is cardio, exactly? And why is it so beneficial? Here at Body Capable, we will discuss everything you need to know about cardio training.
What is Cardio?
The word ‘cardio’ originates from the ancient Greek term kardia, which literally means ‘heart’. Cardio exercise involves any type of movement that gets your heart rate up and keeps it there for an extended period of time. Cardio can be performed with or without equipment, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to cardio exercises.
Cardio Training Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of cardio?
Cardiovascular training helps strengthen your heart and improve blood flow throughout the body so that every part of you works more efficiently. Additionally, cardio training helps to reduce stress and boost your mood by releasing feel-good endorphins, keeping you feeling focused and energized throughout the day. Whether you choose to go for a jog, a bike ride, or hit the gym for a HIIT class, there are plenty of benefits to be gained from a regular cardio training fitness routine.
Learn More: Benefits of Cardio Training
How much cardio should I do?
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of cardio per week of moderately intense exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Also, you should be taking regular breaks from constant sitting or being in one position. Light-intensity activity can offset some of the risk of being sedentary.
How often should I do cardio?
The frequency of your cardio workouts will depend on your fitness goals. If you are just starting out, we recommend that you start two or three times per week. As you become more comfortable with cardio, and your fitness increases, you can increase the frequency and/or length of your workouts.
Learn More: How Often Should You Do Cardio
Should you do cardio before or after strength training?
Unfortunately, there is no right answer to this question as it depends on your goals and priorities. If your main goal is to lose weight, then it is advised to prioritize the biggest calorie-burning exercises which would be cardio exercises. On the contrary, if your highest priority is to gain muscle, then your strength workout should come first.
How much cardio is too much?
There are multiple signs that you could be doing too much cardio training and damaging your body. Some signs you should perhaps reduce the amount of cardio you’re doing are:
- You’re always sore
- You are developing joint pain
- Your sleep is being disrupted
- You constantly feel fatigued
- You feel your workouts are getting more difficult
How long should my cardio workouts be?
This one comes down to you as an individual and where you are in your fitness journey. If you’re just starting out, having small 15-20 minute cardio sessions is completely fine. On the other hand, if you’re an experienced athlete training for a marathon, your workouts are naturally going to be far longer.
Why is Cardio Important?
There are many benefits that come with regular cardiovascular exercise. Cardio can help to:
- Improve heart health
- Reduce stress levels
- Boost energy levels
- Improve lung function
- Aid in weight loss
These are just a few of the reasons why cardio is so important! As you can see, there are many benefits that come with regular cardiovascular exercise. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start moving! Cardio is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your overall health.
Popular Cardio Machines
There are many different types of cardio machines which you’ve probably seen in your local gym. These include:
- Rowing machines
- Elliptical machines
- Exercise bikes
- Spin bikes
These are the most common cardio machines that you’ve probably heard of which people use for indoor cardio.
What are the Different Types of Cardio?
There are many different types of cardio exercises. There’s both LISS and HITT, fasted or fed, and all the variations in between. So you should be able to find one that fits your lifestyle. You may find some exercises more difficult than others. Here are a few examples:
These are just a few of the most popular cardio exercises. As you can see, there is something for everyone! No matter what your fitness level may be, there is a cardio exercise that is right for you.
Cardio is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your overall health. No matter what your fitness level may be, there is a cardio exercise that is right for you. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start moving!