‘Cardio’ is a term used to refer generally to exercise that increase and improve cardiovascular indexes like heart rate and blood pressure. Aside from the fact that cardio activities help to achieve good body fitness count, medics also regularly recommend Cardio for people living with heart-related health conditions.
I do it most days, either it’s Burpees, jogging with kettlebells, moving the battle rope or boxing. I have grown to like cardio, I check my Apple Watch to see how fast I got my heart beating during a workout.
I will say this about cardio though, I will not shed pounds unless it’s incorporated with a good diet. When you start working out and looking at Youtube videos for workout ideas. The person doing the video always says “Cardio will not help your shitty diet” It’s true, I was doing a ton of cardio, my heart was stronger and my body did shape up a lot better, but you will not lose weight with Cardio alone.
Cardio generally serves as both physiological and psychological therapy, improving mental as well as physical health.
The good thing is cardio activities vary in intensity and are flexible enough to be adjusted to a person’s specific needs and conditions.
This means that where health conditions require that one does not engage in overly exciting activities, there are simple cardio activities that can help people stay as fit as possible while working towards achieving healthiness.
Of course, you do not have to be living with health conditions to engage in Cardio. They are as preventive as they are therapeutic, and they generally improve the way your body feels and aids their regular activities.
Cardio Workouts at Home
Most cardio exercises can be done at home as they usually do not require sophisticated gym equipment. Basically, all you’ll need is some space, a workout mat (sometimes), an outfit and perhaps a jump rope.
Being able to engage in Cardio at home encourages consistency in the process. People who workout out at home are observed to be more motivated to continue, especially when they have people who are either also working out or continually encouraging their fitness process within the home.
While carrying out cardio activities at home may appear casual, it is for most people, an effective way to stay committed (of course with several exceptions).
What are the Benefits of Cardio?
Cardio workouts are generally known to increase the heart rate and help to make your heart muscle strong. Your Heart is like the battery of a car and if the battery is dead on a car the cars not moving. If your heart is in poor condition you’re not going to be moving either. but they achieve much more than that. Below are some other benefits of Cardio:
Agility Increases with Cardio Excercise
If you have been doing Cardio for some time now, you would have noticed that you are more active and alert than you use to be when you were not exercising. Cardio helps build body agility by making the muscles and joints tart and stronger, and the mind alert and awake.
Improved Heart Health doing Cardio
People with heart-related health conditions are usually advised to take on cardio exercises (depending on the underlying cause of the situation and the ability of their bodies to bear the intensity of cardio workouts). By strengthening the heart muscles and blood vessels, Cardio improves your heart rate and helps to stabilize blood pressure.
Cardio Exercise for Weight Loss
Cardio exercises to burn body fats and calories, resulting in weight loss. It is advisable that cardio workouts are carried out for at least 30 mins a day for people who want to lose extra pounds. Perhaps you are more concerned with belly fat. It would be advisable to concentrate a bit more on cardio exercises that directly impact the stomach muscles such as sit-ups.
Reduces Risk of Diabetes and High Cholesterol
When the body is engaged in exercise, extra glucose is burned up. It is medically proven that this process alone decreases one’s chances of getting diabetes as it keeps blood sugar regulated. This also helps to reduce body resistance to insulin and helps to reduce the chances of high body cholesterol.
Cardio Exercise helps Improve Lung Health and Activity
Exercise aids better lung activity. Constant, active Cardio makes the muscles of the lungs broader and more flexible, allowing for better passage of air through the lungs. This process alone further improves the entire respiratory process as the blood can receive more oxygen for respiration.
People living with Asthma are also advised to engage in light cardio exercises more often as it improves their breathing and reduces both the risk and intensity of attacks.
Cardio Exercise Enlarges the Voice Box
This is more relatable for people who continuously engage in activities like public speaking and singing. Cardio exercises are effective in enabling voice endurance as well as achieving flexibility.
Improves Mental and Psychological Stability
If you continuously suffer from chronic mood swings and depression, try to engage more in cardio exercises. The intense activity of the body causes the release of hormones that cause mental excitement and alertness, improving one’s mood. This, in turn, helps to improve sleep for people living with insomnia, as most sleeping conditions are traceable to mental health.
Here is a Cardio Exercise List:
Space hops (also known as long jumps or space jumps)
Forward Toe Jumps
Is Running Cardio?
Since cardiovascular activities are generally used to refer to exercises that directly affect the heart rate among other benefits, the question would be whether running helps to achieve some of these benefits.
Running increases, the heart rate burns fat and calories, improves breathing, and causes mental excitement. So, yes, running is cardio, although most people consider it quite dull and monotonous compared to other cardio exercises. It, however, does not have to be that boring.
You can improve your running experience by listening to music while running, running in groups, or even adding a different activity like skipping to running.
Cardio Workouts at the Gym
If you prefer to workout at the gym, below are varieties of cardio activities you can also engage in.
Ellipticals are designed to make the body repeatedly move in a particular rhythm with low pressure and intensity. They are advantageous for people who may have bone conditions as they are adjustable and minimally engaging.
Stair climbers require intense body activity and are very useful for improvement of heart rate and quicker weight loss.
This is particularly effective for building the hand and leg muscles as they apply more pressure on the knee, hip, elbow, and wrist joints. It may not be the best choice for people with not-very-good joints.
Treadmill machines make the body imitate the running process. They engage the entire body and are very advisable for faster weight loss.