ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CARDIO
This is Part of Larger Series on Fitness, where we discuss The Big Three Fitness Areas. Cardio, Strength Training, and Stretching.
Cardio is defined as Aerobic exercise that strengthens and stimulates the heart and lungs. Aerobic means With Oxygen.
The Main Goal with all Cardio exercises is to raise your heart and breathing rates for a sustained period of time. The Result of these exercises, over time, will improve your circulatory system throughout your body, as well as having a better and stronger heart and lungs.
In other words, we want to raise our Heart Rates up, which pumps our blood faster and in turn delivers more oxygen throughout the body.
Not everything that raises your heart rate is a cardio exercise. Depending on your body conditioning, a walk around the block might do nothing to challenge your cardiovascular system, whereas in someone new to fitness it might initially do the job.
If you are a neophyte to fitness, a Grasshopper we like to call it (Kung Fu Show). Then pretty much any exercise that you start will have Cardio benefits. However, as you progress you will keep having to challenge yourself with more demanding programs to maintain effectiveness.
Don’t Forget your Heart and Diaphragm are muscles. Research tells us that if you stop exercising, after only about 2 weeks your body will start to lose muscle mass and strength. This sounds insane, but it’s the truth.
For Example, you could have worked out everyday for 20 years, that’s 7,3000 Days! Now if you take a few weeks off because you fell ill, then you are losing muscle mass.
With Cardio this happens at a much faster rate. According to a 2012 study, athletes endurance decreased between 4-25% after a 3-4 week break. Further, grasshoppers may find their fitness is back to zero after taking a month off.
No Impact Training – Examples include Aquatics (Swimming, Water Aerobics), Rowing, Elliptical Machine, Biking, Cross Country Skiing.
These are great for getting your heart rate up while putting limited stress on your muscles, as well as incorporating your whole body.
Circuit Training – Great for any level of fitness. This is where you will move from one exercise to another with no rest in between. Exercises can be anything from push ups and sit ups to jumping rope and squats.
This is wonderful because you can always change your workout by simply adding new exercises and resistance levels and times, which will keep your cardio and muscles improving and growing.
For Example, you can do 10-20 repetitions or 10-20 seconds per exercise. Jump rope, then push ups, then sit ups, then squats, take a 1-2 minute rest, then repeat for 3-5 cycles.
Steady/Low Intensity Training– Examples of this would be a long energetic walk or a stationary bike. You want to target a heart rate from 40-60% of your max heart rate.
Generally, your Max Heart Rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. If you are 40 years old, your max heart rate would be (220-40=180) 180 beats per minute.
Remember, Your Muscles Have a Memory.
After a few weeks doing the same exercises your Cardio and Muscles will hit a wall so to speak. Have you ever seen the same person at the gym for ten years and they look exactly the same? Or a marathon runner?
This is because these people are doing the same exact routine every week for years. Your body becomes accustomed to the strain of the same routine and exercises. That is why you always need to change it up!
- Burn Calories
- Sweat Out Toxins
- Strengthening of Muscles, Lungs, and Heart
- Releases Endorphins (Feel Good Brain Chemicals)
- Helps Manage or Prevention of Diabetes, Heart Disease & High Blood Pressure
- Better Night’s Sleep
- Reduction in Arthritic Pain & Stiffness through Joint Movement
- Increase in Energy
- Decrease Premature Death
- Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
When you start with Cardio you will want to incorporate three approaches when doing any of your selected exercises.
First, Warm Up. Take 5-10 minutes stretching your arms and legs. Then start slowly to wake up your system and gradually increase. For Example, if you are going for a run, do some stretching then start with walking for a few minutes to get everything moving and circulating, then start the run.
Second, Endurance/Conditioning. Ideally, you will want to build up to at least a half hour of a sustained higher heart rate to build up your aerobic capacity. Don’t kill yourself the first day, slowly increase your time a few times a week. Then try to work up to a daily regime.
Third, Cool Down. Take an additional 5-10 minutes like in the warm up to stretch or if you are running go back to walking so your heart rate can return to normal.
If you are new to Cardio, expect to be sore. You haven’t worked many of these muscles in years. You will be sore in places you didn’t know existed lol. Maybe of our customers use are CBD Deep Freeze for Recovery for this reason. In addition, with stretching and over time, the soreness will turn into a good soreness knowing you had a great workout.
It is normal to be huffing and puffing, and to feel fatigued, and thirsty, but still in control of yourself. However, if you feel an abnormal pain or faint then stop and seek medical attention.
Overall, this information should help you get started or resume the Cardio part of your Fitness regime. Always seek new Cardio routines and exercises so you don’t get bored, and to keep challenging yourself and growing.
Remember, the goal here is to raise our heart rates and to get more oxygen throughout our body for a stronger heart and stronger lungs. Start slow and build up. Also, consider using CBD products for recovery over acetaminophen or aspirin.
♥NOW GET TO IT SON!