What is Cardiovascular Exercise?


What Is Cardiovascular Exercise.

Cardiovascular exercises are a great way to effectively shed those unwanted pounds. From walking on treadmills to running and jogging, cardio is designed to enhance respiratory performance and functionality.  It can even convert fat into lean muscle, while shaping thighs, legs, buttocks and other problems areas. Along with lifting weights, cardiovascular activities should be a part of any diet or fitness regimen.

By improving your breathing and securing proper blood flow and circulation, you can truly exercise longer and get back into optimal shape. Cardiovascular exercises are simply meant to get the heart pumping, which can make it stronger and secure more oxygen to cells in muscles.

Cardiovascular Workouts

Cardiovascular fitness can be done in several ways. Some of the leading cardio exercises include aerobics, walking, running, bike riding, swimming, and even rowing. These workouts help the body sweat, which results in more fat and calories being burned.

At the same time, they boost metabolism rates  – which are essential in losing actual weight and not just water. According to The American College of Sports Medicine, you need at least 20-30 minutes of cardio exercises three times as week. This is enough to strengthen the heart, while improving respiratory performance and functionality.  The first step to any cardiovascular activities is surely a good warm-up.bweight-jump-squat-b-male_vector

Warm-Up before Cardio

Many people that are on fitness regimens usually do cardio before working out. The fact is, however, that you can easily stretch the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints before you doing any cardio workouts.

After all, using the rowing machine or elliptical climber is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Since you will be increasing the heart rate, you will also be building muscle and losing weight as well. Whether on your own or under the tutelage of an instructor, try warming up for at least 10 minutes.

Again, this can be basic stretches that prepare your body for the fitness regimen ahead.  After warming up, simply get on the treadmill or go for a brisk walk around the block.

In order to maximize cardio benefits, you must walk at a brisk pace. This is essential in helping you improve breathing patterns, along with elevating your pulse rate. It is recommended, however, to wear a pulse monitor so that you remain on course and within your pace.

While cardio is great for losing weight, you do not want to overexert yourself across the board. If working out in a gym or at a fitness center, speak to the instructor about securing the right settings on the machine. This includes treadmills, along with bikes, climbers, and especially rowing machines. With years of extensive industry experience, local trainers can help you learn all the machines – as well as explain how they increase speed, endurance, agility and cardiovascular conditioning.

Interval Training

When it comes to good workout routines, interval training is simply a must. In fact, high-intensity interval training is designed to improve cardiovascular conditioning on all levels. Like the name suggests, this form of cardio alternates from brief speed bursts to recovery intervals. For example: running briskly on the treadmill for one minute then slowing down to mere steps the next minute.

The result is fitness enhancement on all levels, while increasing speed, endurance, and strengthening the heart. Since the heart is a muscle, it needs to be worked to harness more oxygen to its cells. When that happens, you are able to breathe better, lose weight, and secure proper air and blood flow to the brain and other organs.

The Benefits of Cardio Interval Training

There are several benefits of cardiovascular interval training. These include but are not limited to:

·         Increasing aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels.

·         Improving speed, agility, balance, and respiratory performance levels.

·         Burn fat and calories, aid in digestion, and build muscle from within.

·         Reduce abdominal fat – convert bodily fat to lean and healthy muscle.

·         Reduce mental fatigue and increase better brain power and clarity.

While other cardio exercises require repetitive exercises to achieve fitness goals, interval training only involves a small amount of exercise. In fact, you will be able to secure expedited result in a very short amount of time. This form of cardio is also great for busy professionals, and can easily be done inside the comfort of your home.

While it’s great to workout at a gym or local fitness center, the Internet has several videos that can show you how to improve cardiovascular conditioning in no time at all. In fact, interval training is also recommended for beginner workouts – since there is plenty of cooling and downtime time between exercises.

Other Benefits of Cardio

Cardio-respiratory exercises will truly improve your heart rate and conditioning. It also enhances oxygen consumption in the body, and should be a part of any fitness program. Not only can you lose or maintain your weight levels, you are able to build strength and can play sports without tiring out easily.

Did you know, however, that cardio also benefits the mind as well as the body? In fact, studies have shown that cardiovascular activities help alleviate stress, anxiety, tension, and other common issues. It can also prevent mental clutter, fatigue, and restore proper clarity for everyday chores and work.

04022013_womentoons_vector5-bThis is due to the fact that any form of exercise is a natural stimulant that makes the mind and body feel good. When part of a daily exercise regimen, cardio can even sync the mind and body into one cohesive unit.

This is a vital part of preventing common mental and health issues, including insomnia and sluggishness. Remember, an active body means and active mind. At the same time, exercise helps prepare the body for a good night’s rest, which is essential in allowing organs to shut down and expel harmful waste and toxins from the body as you sleep.

The Time is Now

If you are tired of dealing with obesity and diets that do not deliver results, cardiovascular exercises can help you get your life back. All it takes is a strong commitment and passion on your part to get back into shape.

Again, if you are unaware of all the exercises and techniques available, speak to a local instructor today. He or she can easily formulate a strategic cardio plan that will help you lose weight and feel great. If pressed for time, you can start on your own customized regimen at home or at the gym.

Remember, you need to warm up before doing any extensive cardiovascular exercises. It is also best to alternate days between lifting weights and doing cardio exercises. This way, you will not wear down the body and suffer fatigue or even dehydration.

Eating Right is Essential

No diet or fitness plan is every complete without proper nutritional guidance. In order to maximize cardio training results – you simply need to eat right and drink plenty of water. The latter keeps the body well-hydrated, which is essential in muscle recovery after extensive cardio or circuit weight training sessions.

As always, stay away from fatty foods, as well as foods that contain excess sugar, salt and sodium. Try to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, which is the perfect way to get essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, you must incorporate protein into your diet as well. This can be via bananas, nuts, or even shakes that can be used as substitutes. Protein can enhance any workout regimen, while expediting weight loss and building lean, healthy and attractive muscle.

There are other forms of cardiovascular exercises as well. These include but are not limited to:

Low Impact Cardio Workout

The best low impact cardio workout should be a circuit of no more than 12 minutes. The routine will include front kicks and low lunges, along with side knee lifts and side lunges. There will also be thrust motions in the lunges. Front kicks, squats, diagonal knee smashes, and knee lifts should also be executed.

If you are serious about getting back into shape, these non-traditional cardio exercises are guaranteed to meet your fitness goals and aspirations. Low impact cardio programs are available at most gyms, and many tend to correlate with MMA style training fitness programs.


While traditional in nature, bicycling is still a great way to build strength and endurance. Unlike stationery cardio bikes that can damage the knees, regular bikes secure better posture and control during your cardio regimen. They are also a great way to enjoy Mother Nature, while shaping the legs and elevating energy levels.

Like interval running, bicycling includes a warm up period. While regimens differ, the warm up period should only be around 10 minutes. You can then ride the bike at a moderate pace, while increasing speed via bursts that are similar to cardio bikes or elliptical machines. According to fitness gurus and industry experts, it is best to ride near your home or residence. This allows you to enjoy your workout near familiar surroundings that offer optimal comfort and convenience.

These are but a few more cardio workouts that you should consider. Others include canoeing, interval running, and even sprinting on local tracks. No matter which cardio regimen or techniques you choose to utilize, you will see dramatic results in no time at all!

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