The word “cardio” is short for “cardiovascular”. Cardio workout is endurance exercise that strengthens the circulatory system consisting of the heart and blood vessels in your body. People “do cardio” over long stretches of time as it makes the heart beat faster and pumps more blood through your system, bringing nutrients and oxygen to every cell.
Cardio workout can be simply explained as a physical exercise of low to high intensity that depends on the aerobic energy-generating process of the exercise you do. It’s any activity that gets your heart rate raised to 50 – 75% of your maximum heart rate. Calculate your maximum with the formula 220 minus your age. For example, if you’re 25 years old, 220 – 25 = 195.
Cardio workout burns calories in your body. Most people do cardio training to lose weight, gain body mass, train stamina, etc. There’re different intensities cardio exercises. Low or moderate-intensity exercise normally leaves you feeling slightly breathless but still able to comfortably talk to someone. Low-intensity exercises include walking, swimming, or cycling.
On the other hand, high-intensity exercises will leave you speaking in short sentences as you sweat and breathe rapidly. High-intensity exercises include running, sprinting, aerobic classes like Zumba, or circuit training. It is commonly believed that long, slow, and low-intensity cardio is best for fat loss as it utilizes aerobic exercises that burn fat during exercise. While some find high-intensity cardio more effective for fat loss as it burns a higher amount of overall fat.
So the question is, how to know which is better?
The short answer is that the best type of cardio, whether low or high intensity, is the one you will do consistently over time. The optimal plan is to start at lower intensity if you are new to cardio and slowly work your way to higher intensities as your endurance and cardiorespiratory work capacity improve.
The reason is that beginners doing HI training are highly prone to body burnout due to continuous hardcore training that causes strains towards your body especially your muscles and joints. Burnout will leave you feeling extremely tired, cranky, exhausted, and too worn out to stick with your routine.
Low-Intensity (LI) or High-Intensity (HI)?
Best Of Both Worlds
If you are a beginner, try interval training. Warm-up at a low intensity, and alternate one minute of high intensity with a one minute low (or you can call it recovery) intensity. As you progress, you can then start to either increase the intensity and duration of the high-intensity part or decrease the duration of the low-intensity part. By doing so, you will be able to burn more calories during the workout at a higher intensity. Remember that losing fat is about burning more calories than we consume over time.
Combining both LI and HI will contribute to hitting your weight loss goals faster
Remember to progress slowly with baby steps though. Doing too much too soon can lead to injury or burn out, which can take you out of the game.
Low Intensity Cardio
- Good for beginners to develop abase
- Good for injured & rehab
- Good for recovery from intense training or over training
- Good for stress reduction, & de- cluttering the mind
- Easy to do with little training or coaching
High Intensity Interval Cardio
- Time efficient (two or three 45 minute sessions per week is all that is needed)
- Makes heart & lungs bigger & morepowerful
- Less risk of heart problems
- Builds functional & real strength that allow you to be powerful in real world situations
- Changes the way your body stores food
- Burns more fat
Advanced Tips: Try HIIT!
Doing short bursts of Maximum intensity exercise, followed by a minute of low intensity intervals. Example: Sprint 20 seconds as fast as you possibly can, then jog for 40-60seconds. Repeat for 8-10 sets. Studies show that HIIT is optimal for fat loss and avoid muscle wastage from long duration of cardio workout. Plus, HIIT can be done less than 15 minutes! Talk about save time and fat blasting. HIIT is the BEST in every aspect.
Types Of Exercises
- Brisk walk
- Stretching routine
- Simple household chores: vacuuming, mopping, yard work, washing the car
- Speed walking
- Basically up-levelling any low-intensity exercise by a notch will simply work as a moderate – intensity workout
- Aerobic exercises
- Jump rope
- High speed running/jogging
- Push up
- Jumping Jack
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