Exercises performed for 5 minutes or more at low to medium intensity to train the heart are called cardio workouts. The terms aerobic training and aerobics are also used.
What is cardio workout
The goal of cardio training is to engage different muscle groups and ensure that the body uses up more oxygen. First of all, glucose molecules are saturated with oxygen, which at the same time decompose into pyruvic acid molecules. Glucose is the main source of energy in the human body. During exercise, glucose is oxidized by oxygen and creates an additional supply of energy.
Examples of cardio training include jogging, walking, swimming, cycling, tennis, dancing. If you wish, you can easily choose the type of cardio exercise that is best for you. The main benefit of cardio training is in maintaining cardiovascular health. With these exercises:
the heart rate increases;
increased blood circulation under the influence of physical exercises;
ventilation of the lungs improves;
The circulatory system is saturated with oxygen, which helps burn fat.
By doing cardio, you train your main muscle, the heart, by making it work at an increased speed. By exercising regularly, you will build your heart’s endurance.
What are the benefits of cardio training?
A beginner should understand the basic difference between cardio training and strength training. When performing strength exercises, the load on the muscles is given much higher than during cardio training. Accordingly, muscle tension during exercise will also differ. The benefit of cardio is that you do a lot of repetitions of a single exercise. This makes it possible, with lower loads, to improve the work of the muscles of the heart (myocardium) and lungs. As a result, the metabolism (metabolism) in the human body is accelerated.
Important! The effect is achieved only with regular, high repetition activities, which should be performed at low to medium intensity.
Let’s talk in more detail about the main types of cardio exercises:
jogging and walking . You can run and walk outdoors or in the gym on a treadmill / stepper. This type of cardio exercise helps to engage a large number of muscles at the same time, which has a beneficial effect on the work of the cardiovascular system. When running / walking, the lungs work actively and there is a rapid burning of calories. The level of exercise, which depends on the duration and intensity of the cardio exercise, needs to be adjusted depending on how you feel and how fit you are. It is imperative to use special shoes and a training suit appropriate for the weather. We must not forget about the observance of the rules and techniques for performing cardio exercise. Start with small runs, gradually increasing the distance and training time;
Swimming can help you strengthen your muscles and develop your lungs, because in a pool or pond, your body will need to pass a much larger volume of air through it to oxygenate. Swimming classes will have a beneficial effect on strengthening the immune system;
cycling is a popular form of cardio exercise , which, among other things, helps to tidy up your figure. Regular exercise will help you firm up your legs and buttocks, as well as remove fat deposits in the buttocks and thighs. Cycling will have a positive effect on the fight against cellulite. The endurance of the whole organism will be strengthened, the work of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems will improve.
Let’s take a look at what cardio training does and what the benefits are.
Overall health and body benefits
Cardio training helps to improve the objective indicators of the health of the human body:
exercise helps to train the heart, the entire cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Think of your heart as a muscle that, without regular exercise, will weaken and eventually fail. Your lungs also need exercise. Start doing cardio workouts, and you will soon notice that when you walk up to your floor, you have no shortness of breath and your heart does not try to jump out of your chest;
cardio will help increase the body’s endurance and improve well-being, normalize blood pressure, and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases;
cardio will help with sleep problems, depression, and improve brain function. Spend 2-2.5 hours a week with cardio training, and you will notice how your sleep becomes deeper and calmer, as the level of endorphin (the hormone of joy) in your blood rises. This will help get rid of depression forever without the use of drugs. Research has shown that cardio has a positive effect on the part of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory.
Motor loads are useful for the human body, we are so “designed”. A life without physical activity will quickly lead to the emergence of a whole host of diseases. Cardio will strengthen your body and improve your well-being.
Benefits for the figure
Regular cardio workouts will strengthen and develop your muscles, help you lose weight and remove body fat, and increase your body’s endurance.
A slim, athletic figure is an important added benefit to the benefits you get from cardio.
Slimming & Fat Burning Benefits
Another important benefit of cardiovascular exercise is that it improves metabolism by activating blood circulation and saturating tissues with oxygen. Without these conditions, it is extremely difficult to “throw off” extra pounds and remove fat folds.
It has long been known that strength training, such as swinging the abs, will not be effective unless accompanied by aerobic exercise. It is cardio that helps you lose weight quickly enough and burn excess fat. Make cardio your constant companion and you will keep your slim figure forever.
Effects of cardio on skin condition
Cardio loads return youth to the body. This also applies to the condition of the skin. Cardio training, primarily jogging, helps to normalize hormones. The work of the sebaceous glands is normalized, the work of the endocrine system improves. As a result, rashes, acne and acne gradually disappear. In addition, cardiovascular exercise strengthens the arteries, which helps oxygenate the body more efficiently. This triggers the processes of skin cell regeneration. The research results carried out by various foreign universities have been confirmed by numerous tests on different groups of the population.
If you want to keep your skin firm and supple, do cardio workouts!
The role of cardio before and after strength training
Cardio can be combined with strength training, before or after strength training. It all depends on your fitness and the goal that is set. It is generally accepted that doing cardio after strength training will burn fat because glycogen has already been burned.
Note: The human body determines the “material” used as energy based on the heart rate zone. With a pulse rate of up to 150 beats per minute, fat will be selected as energy, above – glycogen.
In reality, fat will be burned anyway. Therefore, cardio can be done both before and after strength training. Just keep in mind that doing cardio before strength training can lead to fatigue, which can negatively impact strength training.
There are also restrictions on the duration of the cardio load at a time. This is due to the fact that after one hour of exercise, your body will stop burning fat and start working on muscles. Therefore, to preserve muscle mass, such – 60 minutes – time limits are recommended. Typically, experts recommend splitting a longer cardio workout into two sessions in the morning and in the evening.
When combining strength training with cardio, we advise you to choose a scheme that suits your fitness. So, for beginners, it will be quite difficult to do 45 minutes of cardio in the morning, an hour of strength training in the afternoon and 45 minutes of cardio in the evening. You can overtrain and stress the body. It’s best to start with 40 minutes of strength training plus another 20 minutes of cardio.
The Basics of Effective Cardio Training
The effectiveness and benefits of cardio training depend on whether it is performed in the fat burning zone. The fat burning zone is calculated based on your age, which is subtracted from the maximum allowable heart rate. The maximum allowable heart rate (HR) is 220.
The fat burning zone will be in the range of 65-85% of the heart rate (lower and upper limits of the zone). With these simple calculations, you will determine your heart rate during cardio for optimal fat burning. Exiting the calculated range will mean suboptimal fat burning (below the zone border) or performing endurance training instead of fat burning (above the zone border).
Advice. Be sure to use a heart rate monitor during the cardio or count the pulse yourself. It’s very simple to do – you need to calculate the pulse in 15 seconds and multiply by 4.
For effective cardio training, we advise you to:
be sure to monitor your heart rate. A low heart rate means that cardio is ineffective, too high – a danger signal to your health. You need to check your pulse several times during a workout;
try to alternate the types of cardio loads – this will give the best result;
if possible, do interval loads, alternating sets with short rests;
Pay close attention to your health concerns when choosing your cardio workout routine. So, for problems with joints, choose a bike or walk along the path;
When doing cardio, be sure to monitor your diet.
Remember that cardio will always help you keep fit and cardiovascular.
When doing cardio, eating well is an essential part of your workout to be effective. The diet is determined by the tasks set. In some cases, too strict restrictions can be dispensed with. This applies to people who do not have problems with being overweight and want to engage in general health exercises.
In such cases, the diet should be limited to animal fats and light carbohydrates. To do this, it is enough to replace the usual products with less fatty ones (cottage cheese, milk, sour cream, cheese), which will reduce the number of calories. You will hardly notice any difference in nutrition.
Also change the cooking to reduce the amount of fat in the food. It is necessary to replace confectionery sweets with fruits (unsweetened), dried fruits, marshmallow.
It is imperative to adjust the diet, because cardio will lead to an increase in appetite and your efforts will be reduced to zero. Avoid mono-diets, and try to lower the calorie content gradually.
When doing cardio for weight loss, keep up to 70% of your animal protein intake in your diet. You will need carbohydrates as energy fuel – choose durum wheat pasta, legumes, vegetables, cereals, cereals). But animal fats will have to be almost completely eliminated. You can replace animal fats with vegetable fats, but their consumption should also be limited.
You need to take food 4-5 times a day, making snacks when hunger occurs. It is recommended to consume carbohydrates before cardio, after – proteins. We do not recommend doing cardio on an empty stomach.
We advise you to check your diet with your doctor before starting cardio training.
Contraindications and harm of cardio training
The rule is simple – you can start aerobic exercise only after consulting your doctor. You can not engage in cardio training for people who have diabetes, cancer and infectious diseases, diseases of the cardiovascular system.
The consequences can be the most sad, up to and including death.
5 myths about cardio training
Aerobic exercise has gained immense popularity. As often happens, various myths arise around cardio:
Cardio will burn body fat better than strength training. This is only partly true. You will burn more calories, and not only fat, but also glycogen will be burned. But strength training significantly increases your metabolism after exercise, which means you can continue to burn fat for a long time while you’re at rest. Cardio does not burn fat during rest.
You can do aerobics without time limits. This is not true. After 60 minutes of aerobic exercise, the body will begin to burn muscle tissue by switching from fat. If you don’t want to lose muscle elasticity, limit your aerobics to 45 minutes.
Cardio should be done before strength training. This is only partly true. If you are confident and cardio does not tire you, then you can do this. But strength training will require a lot of repetitions with large weights, which is fraught with a drop in muscle strength due to the consumption of glycogen. Therefore, we advise you to start with strength exercises.
Over-diet cakes are easily neutralized by the extra 20 minutes of aerobics. Error! Increasing the duration of cardio will only lead to overtraining. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the intensity of the session, and not increase the duration. And be sure to subtract the calories from the cake you eaten from your next meal.
Real cardio includes only running, walking, cycling, and aerobics. True, but not all. Aerobic exercise is only effective if your heart rate is in a certain zone.
Engage in cardio training, but try to critically perceive all the myths that have arisen around them!
Is it effective to do cardio at home?
Cardio can be effectively practiced both at home and in a fitness club. But in the second case, you get additional benefits:
a large selection of cardiovascular equipment and the possibility of alternating types of cardio loads;
the presence of a professional trainer who can always be consulted;
a stimulating atmosphere in the fitness club.
However, all of these points will be secondary if you are serious about doing intense cardio workout in accordance with all the rules, even at home.
Cardio is your reliable assistant for maintaining a slim figure or losing weight, increasing body endurance, strengthening the cardiovascular system and developing the respiratory system. By doing cardio workouts, you guarantee yourself a good sleep, great health and mood.