If you were to ask people the exercises they think of most frequently when they hear the word ‘cardio’, they would probably answer by saying running or cycling. There are so many different ways that you can exercise and some of them are obvious while others are not so obvious, and running and cycling are just two of the most popular forms of cardio.
One of the most important things you need to know is that you should not do cardio only – you should also try and do some strength and resistance training too. Cardiovascular exercise decreases your resting heart rate and improves your overall fitness performance and strength and it’s not just about getting onto a stationary bike or running on a treadmill aimlessly.
Walking, whether brisk walking or simply jogging around the park are forms of cardiovascular exercise. Any kind of moderate or intense aerobic activity is cardiovascular by nature. The big difference is that there are several different intensity levels of exercise which all build up your heart rate differently. You will find that you can build up your pulse rate slowly when doing any kind of brisk walking or gentle jogging, while at the same time you might feel your pulse rate pick up much more quickly when doing more intense aerobic activity such as running.
The benefits of cardio
There are many benefits of cardiovascular exercises and these benefits include weight loss, reduced blood pressure and lowered cholesterol. It is also very good for your muscles and joints because it works out your muscles and strengthens your bones and ligaments. The biggest benefit is of course the feeling of being fit and happy and being able to move around more freely without any aches or pains. This is the one aspect of exercises that almost all people enjoy because it is so easy to do and there are so many different kinds of cardiovascular exercises.
Of the cardiovascular exercise benefits mentioned above the most obvious is the reduction in risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. When you increase the amount of blood flow through your body you increase the amount of muscle mass, this increased muscle mass helps burn off fat more efficiently and you also end up losing weight.
As you lose weight you lower your blood pressure and body fat levels and an indoor cycle trainer is the ideal way to do your cardio sessions each week and you can supplement your nutrition with triathlon energy gels and caffeine supplements to help you reach peak performance.
This is a very important health benefit because high blood pressure can cause strokes that can lead to severe complications and even death. If you increase the amount of muscle mass you have through cardiovascular exercise and build up cardiovascular strength and endurance, you are decreasing your chances of developing these debilitating conditions as well as helping to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Probably one of the most overlooked cardiovascular exercise benefits is the increase in your happy hormone levels during cardio workouts. When you are exercising you are increasing your heart rate, but you are also stimulating your body to release more endorphins which improves your mood and reduces stress. The endorphins released into your brain act as a natural painkiller and you will find yourself wanting to exercise more often when you have those feelings of well-being.
Your muscles burn more calories when you do cardiovascular exercises than they do while you are sedentary. You also passively lose weight over time because with increased muscle mass you will be burning more calories even though you are at rest. There are many other health benefits associated with cardiovascular exercises, and these cardiovascular exercise benefits alone are worth some serious consideration.
There are a variety of programs you can use at home that can be incorporated into your daily life. If you start an exercise program and find it difficult to continue, you can always start with lower intensity workouts to see if that makes it more achievable. Anyone who is completely new to exercise should consider speaking to their doctor about their plans just to make sure they will be safe to proceed.