Cardiovascular exercise, also known as cardio, is any type of physical activity that increases heart rate and breathing. Some examples of cardio include running, cycling, swimming, and walking.
The main goal of cardio is to improve cardiovascular fitness, which includes health of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Regular cardio exercise can help reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic health conditions.
In this article, we're going to walk you through the best way to do cardio and highlight some of the best exercises to add to your routine.
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Things to Keep In Mind When Doing Cardiovascular Exercises
To do cardiovascular exercises the right way, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind:
1) Start with a warm-up
A proper warm-up is essential before starting any cardio workout. It helps prepare the body for physical activity by increasing blood flow to the muscles and raising the heart rate. A good warm-up can include light cardio exercises such as walking or jogging in place, or dynamic stretching.
2) Know your target heart rate
To get the most out of your cardio workout, it's important to stay within your target heart rate zone.
This is the range of heartbeats per minute (BPM) at which the body gets the most benefits from cardio. A general rule of thumb is to aim for 50-75% of your maximum heart rate. You can calculate your target heart rate by subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying that number by 0.5 and 0.75.
3) Be consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to cardio exercises. It's important to make cardio a regular part of your weekly routine to see and maintain the benefits. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio per day, most days of the week.
4) Vary your workout
Doing the same cardio exercises every day can become boring and may also lead to injury. To keep the body challenged, switch up your cardio routine, and try new activities to keep yourself motivated.
Incorporating a mix of activities such as running, cycling, swimming, and rowing, can help work different muscle groups and keep your cardio workout interesting.
5) Listen to your body
It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. If you feel unwell or experience pain or discomfort, stop and rest.
Pushing yourself too hard can lead to injury and burnout. Doing cardiovascular exercise can cause you to burn out rather quickly, so take things slow, and enjoy the journey.
6) Wear proper gear
To ensure that you're comfortable and safe while doing cardiovascular exercises, it's important to wear proper gear.
That includes shoes with good support, comfortable clothing, and protective gear if you're cycling or doing other activities that pose a risk of injury.
7) Don’t forget about recovery
After a cardio workout, it's important to allow the body to recover. That includes stretching, staying hydrated, and refueling with the right nutrients.
What Is Cardiovascular Endurance?
Cardiovascular endurance refers to the ability of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to the body during sustained physical activity.
It's often measured by how long a person can exercise at a moderate to high intensity without getting tired. Good cardiovascular endurance allows for activities such as running, cycling, and swimming for longer periods without getting fatigued.
Best Low-Impact Cardio Workouts For Cardiovascular Endurance
Here're a few:
One of the most popular forms of cardio is running. It's a high-intensity exercise that works the legs, glutes, and core.
Running can be done on a treadmill or outside and can be a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn calories.
Cycling is another popular form of cardio that's easy on the joints. It's a low-impact exercise that works the legs, glutes, and core.
Cycling can be done on a stationary bike or outside and is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness, build leg strength, and burn calories.
Swimming is a great form of cardio that works the entire body. It's a low-impact exercise that's easy on the joints and is a great cardio workout for people with arthritis or other conditions that make high-impact exercises difficult.
Using an elliptical machine is a non-impact cardiovascular exercise that allows a person to work their legs, glutes, and core, providing a full body workout. The elliptical also provides a good cardio workout and help burn calories.
Rowing is a low-impact form of cardiovascular exercise that works the upper body, lower body, and core. It's a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness, build muscle, and burn calories.
Cardiovascular exercises are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It's important to choose a type of cardio that you enjoy and that works for your body.
Incorporating a warm-up, staying within your target heart rate, being consistent, varying your workout, adding strength training, listening to your body, wearing proper gear, and recovering properly are all important factors to consider to do cardio the right way.
With the right combination of exercise and effort, you will be on your way to achieving improved cardiovascular fitness and overall health.
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