Cardio (n): the most fun physical fitness activity of all time!!
YEAH RIGHT!! I gotta be honest with you guys, cardio isn’t my favorite thing in the world either. I used to DREAD going on a treadmill or going on a bike, etc. Truth be told, it just wasn’t fun. AT ALL! But the more I looked into the health benefits of cardio, the more I realized how necessary it was to incorporate it into my workouts in order to be healthier. Luckily, I found some ways to make it even more enjoyable as well! So if you are like how I was with hating cardio, read on and hopefully I can change your mind.
What is Cardio and Why is it Important?
Cardiovascular exercise is basically any sort of exercise that raises your heart rate. Simple enough right? This very simple act is also very beneficial to your health. One of these benefits is Heart Health. By regularly elevating your heart rate through exercise, you are also working out the muscles of the heart, allowing for stronger and more consistent heart flow. Another benefit is Increased Metabolism. Everyone would love to shed off that last 5 pounds, and one of the nest ways to do this is through cardiovascular exercise. By performing cardio you are also improving and increasing your metabolic rate which is responsible for helping with fat loss! The last benefit that I’ll touch upon is Increased Recovery Ability. After you workout, your muscles are depleted of their natural energy and they are also damaged from intense work. In order to replenish and rebuild the muscles, your body pumps oxygen rich blood to the areas of deficit. When performing cardiovascular activities, your blood flow is greatly enhanced, which allow the boy to pump even more oxygen rich blood to areas of damage after a workout.
Now that you know WHY cardio is important, you should also know the TYPES of cardio as well: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Low Intensity Steady State (LISS).
HIIT: Basically this is a short and sweet style of cardio that uses the method of intensity cycling to increase your heart rate. So these sessions could last around 15-25 minutes where you would do whatever activity you are doing at a moderate intensity for about a minute and then go full-force for like 30 seconds-1 minute. Then you go back down to moderate intensity again and repeat the cycle for the 15-25 minutes. I personally enjoy this type of cardio more when bulking because it doesn’t burn too much muscle but is able to raise your heart rate enough to just be able to access fat storages. Plus, it is shorter, and for a person with limited patience like myself, this style is ideal.
LISS: This style of cardio is one that most of you are more familiar with. This is the 30-60 minutes style where you are running on the treadmill or using a stair master or whatever at a steady pace for a long period of time. Very self explanatory style of exercise here. While this method is very boring, I have found it enjoyable to watch a tv show or movie while I perform this style. This way, I’m not focusing on the mundane act of a steady pace, watching something I enjoy, and before you know it 45 minutes have gone by and you have burned off a sizable amount of calories!
So while you may think that cardio SUCKS, there are so many benefits to performing cardio regularly and there are different types for you to try out! So be sure to incorporate cardio into your weekly routine!
What is your favorite type of cardio?
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