Cardio is a great way to improve the health and fitness levels of most people. Many individuals do not understand what cardio is and therefore do not do it regularly. Cardio is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, lose weight, burn fat, increase stamina, improve your immune system, and assist in preventing illness. Cardio should be performed on a regular basis; it is not something that you have to give up entirely if you are overweight.
Aerobic exercise is the physical activity of low to moderate intensity that relies primarily on aerobic energy-producing processes. “An aerobic exercise” is defined as “using oxygen to meet energy requirements during physical activity” and refers specifically to aerobic metabolism, which utilizes oxygen to efficiently meet energy requirements during physical activity. This definition is actually quite simple. In order for your body to have aerobic capability, it must be capable of utilizing oxygen as a fuel source. This process of oxidation in the body is also called respiratory function; where the lungs are the primary user of oxygen for respiratory functions.
You can develop your aerobic capacity slowly by engaging in simple exercises that require little in terms of heart rate and calories. Cardio workouts tend to improve your heart rate, but to a lesser extent than practicing breathing techniques (breathing in, out, and in again). These methods will improve your heart function but not your overall cardiac output (i.e. the amount of blood pumped throughout the body at any given time).
Some examples of easy, low-impact aerobic exercises are walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, and climbing stairs. Each of these exercises, when done for no more than 15 minutes, requires only moderate physical exertion. To develop your cardiovascular conditioning you should engage in an exercise regimen consisting of three to five times your current aerobic endurance. For example, if you were a man who bench presses 225 pounds, you would need to bench press 225 pounds three to five times per week. Your heart rate and oxygen levels will both be challenged during this effort, but your muscles (including your knees) will remain relatively stiff.
To further increase your cardio conditioning, you should begin to vary your exercise regimen. By varying your exercise intensity, you will be forced to work harder, forcing your heart rate to increase and maintaining your optimal oxygen levels throughout your exercise session. A good rule of thumb for increasing your intensity level is to increase your exercise frequency by three to five times your maximum heart rate for one minute. Once you’ve reached your desired heart rate, you should then gradually decrease your breathing rate, allowing your body only to breathe deeply for one minute. This is known as pausing, and it will drastically increase your workout intensity.
After developing your large muscles group, you should then develop your smaller muscles groups. The torso (the upper and lower body) and the legs (both thighs and calves) are the most important muscles group to focus on, but you should also work your abdominal and back muscles to improve your posture. In order to perform proper squats, you must squat with your legs at a 45 degree angle to your body, and you must keep your back straight. Squatting correctly will help to protect your knees, hips, and ankles from being injured while doing the exercise.
Lunges are another great cardiovascular exercise that also helps to improve your balance and coordination. Lunges require you to bend your knees and hips at a 90-degree angle. You use your arms to lift your knees, keeping your back straight. The benefit of lunges is that they require you to use your large muscles group to raise your heart rate. Smaller exercises for improving your balance, coordination, and balance can also help in improving your athletic performance. These include activities such as walking, running, swimming, martial arts, aerobics, and dancing.
A well-rounded workout program including cardiovascular exercises, weight training, and stretching helps to build strong muscles throughout your entire body, improves your flexibility and increases your aerobic capacity. The lungs, heart, and kidneys are all improved with this type of exercise. When combined with proper diet and ample rest, cardio workouts improve many aspects of your health. They increase your metabolism, make your joints stronger, burn more calories, and increase your overall wellness. Cardio workouts can also be a terrific way to relieve stress and anxiety, which are common symptoms of many diseases.