Categorized | Cardio

Cardiovascular Exercise – Improve Your Health With Cardio

So, what is cardiovascular exercise, you ask? It is a term we often hear, but not everyone knows just what it means. Cardiovascular exercise is any type of exercise that increases the workload of the heart and lungs. The most common forms of cardio are walking, jogging and running. Another term for cardiovascular exercise is aerobic exercise.

So, why is it so important? There are many physical benefits to cardiovascular exercise. They include reduced risk of heart disease, improved heart function, improved cholesterol levels and reduced risk of osteoporosis. Those are some pretty impressive benefits if you ask me. To get the benefits previously mentioned from your cardio workout, it is important for you to sustain your workout for at least 20 minutes with 30 being ideal and do 3 to 4 sessions a week.

Obviously, it is also important for you to challenge yourself. A good cardiovascular workout should definitely elevate your heart rate. One easy way to test if you are working hard enough is the talk test. Simply say a sentence in the middle of your workout; if you are too winded then you are overdoing it. Likewise, if it is easy to talk than kick it up a notch!

If your looking to loose some unwanted pounds, cardiovascular exercise is the way to go as it burns calories and fat.

A very effective way to improve your cardiovascular system and burn fat and calories is to interval train. The theory behind interval training is to alter the level of intensity during the workout. A great example of cardiovascular interval training is the run/walk workout. Start by walking at a pace that challenges you, than go into a jog or run, then back to walking, than back to jogging or running and so on for 30 minutes (or more depending on your fitness level). Beginners should start out with walking segments being 5 minutes and jogging segments being 1 minute. As your fitness level improves, shorten the walking segments and increase the jogging segments. This way you are always working towards the goal of improving your cardiovascular fitness level. Interval training can also be taken into the gym and done on a treadmill, bike, elliptical or cross-trainer. Simply vary the resistance and or speed on your machine of choice to increase and then decrease the workload.

Walking and jogging are by far the most popular types of cardiovascular exercise. A reason may be because it is so accessible. It is a simple as walking out your front door. Proper footwear is very important. Spend as much as you can afford on a good pair of shoes, as support and cushioning are very important to keep you from getting sidelined with an injury. Beginners, remember to start out slowly. Runners are not born overnight and doing too much too soon is another leading cause of injury. Give your body time to adapt to the new demands of a walking or jogging routine.

Another great way to get your cardio in is to take a group fitness class. Group fitness is very popular at many gyms. I think there are several reasons for this. First of all, group fitness classes are very motivating! The music, the people, the energy, the fun! Secondly, because you are being led through your workout, there is no need for you to plan what you’re going to do that day. Thirdly, as long as you are taking a professional group fitness class, you know you are exercising correctly and getting a safe, effective, and thorough workout. What could be better than that?

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