Do you want to lose more fat while helping your heart health at the same time? Get the facts here on the awesome benefits of cardio!
When you stop and think about it, your body is really the one and only best asset that you have in life. And if you don’t have your health, you really don’t have anything.
And speaking of life, you only have one life to live so you need to take care of yourself and protect yourself from sickness and disease.
Failure to do so will cause you pain in the long run.
This is why it’s always important to stay fit and live a healthy and active lifestyle.
By making the right choices to stay healthy on the inside and out, you could have the quality of life that you have always wanted.
So what can you do in order to keep your body in a fit, lean and healthy state?
There are many options that you can take, but overall, having a combination of a healthy diet, an active lifestyle and a good amount of extracurricular exercise is the ticket.
In this article, we will take a look at the importance of cardio training in keeping you lean and healthy for the long haul.
What is Considered Cardio Training?
Let’s start out with the basics. Cardio training can be defined as any physical activity which involves targeting the largest muscle groups of your body to produce the greatest amount of energy expenditure in a workout over a long duration.
When this is done, it thereby enhances the performance of both your heart and lungs in distributing oxygen to your muscles.
A good rule of thumb is to maintain 60 to 85% of your maximum heart rate while doing any endurance type of activity in order to gain the maximum benefit of cardio health.
Examples of this type of training include power walking or brisk walking, distance running, jogging, aerobic classes, swimming, Tae-Bo, rowing, cycling or biking.
You can also train a commercial gym with equipment such as the elliptical, stair master, recumbent bike, treadmill, stepmill and rowing machine.
Cardio training is also called aerobic training as the intensity in which you perform the exercises is powered by the aerobic system of energy.
5 Benefits of Cardiovascular Training
1. Energizes the Body
After a regular and consistent cardio training session, you will become energized and feel a greater sense of well being. You will also experience less fatigue when performing other activities because your muscles are now conditioned with greater endurance.
2. Fights Diseases
Cardio training helps your body to fight diseases such as diabetes, heart and cardiovascular related diseases and more. This type of training is specifically targeted to strengthen your heart and your lungs and to help oxygenate your entire body.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Due to its nature of the high output in energy, cardio training helps to increase your metabolism and burn more calories which will lead to greater weight loss. This type of training is ideal for those who need to lose weight and also for those who just want to maintain their weight.
4. Fat Loss
While cardio training works well for helping you maintain your ideal weight, it could also help you burn extra fat around those stubborn areas which lead to a lean and ripped physique.
This type of training is always included in content preparations for physique athletes who require a low bodyfat percentage when they step on stage.
While maintaining a heart rate of 60-75% of your maximum heart rate, about 85% of the calories that you will be burning will come from fat.
So if you are one of those people who do not aim to just lose weight, but want to achieve a lower bodyfat percentage and get ripped, adding more cardio training to your current routine will definitely make your body leaner.
5. Keeps Your Workouts Fun
What can be better than something that keeps your workouts fun and exciting?
There are so many different forms of cardiovascular training you can do that it will keep you from being bored and giving up.
Workouts that are fun will also help to keep you in a better mood.
How to Better Enjoy Cardiovascular Training and its Benefits
So we have established that if you want to improve the quality of your life and keep yourself lean and healthy, be sure to incorporate some form of cardio training into your daily routine.
But what is the best routine that you can do? Let’s take a look at exactly how you can make aerobic training work for you.
How Much Time Should I Train?
If you have never done cardiovascular training before, you can start out by having at least 30 minutes of your favorite activity at least 3 times a week. This will help you to get acclimated with a new routine and let your body recover before your next workouts.
But if you are a little bit more advanced and your goal is to lose a significant amount of belly fat, make sure that you train at least 5 times a week. Start out with this routine regularly, but without exceeding 45 minutes per session. And make sure that you train no more than 5 times a week, or you may run the risk of overtraining.
What Exercises are Best?
So what are the best choices when it comes to cardio training? That will all depend on what type of equipment you have access to and what your goal is.
So to start out, if you don’t have access to a gym and you don’t have any equipment on hand at home either, you can start out with something simple like doing some high intensity walking outdoors. This is the simplest form of cardio training that is going to be effective.
If you have a bike at home, you can start out alternating your power walking with biking around your neighborhood or on the bike trails at the local park.
You need to determine your goal; is it for weight loss or just to have better health? Make a plan on how you can achieve this goal.
If you want the greatest benefit for fat loss and have access to a commercial gym, training on equipment such as the Stepmill or Elliptical are two of the best choices.
Most people will agree that the Stepmill will burn the most calories during any time duration when compared to any other piece of cardio equipment.
If you are unsure of what is the best exercise for you then you may want to look into hiring a personal trainer to help you out. If you don’t need regular one-on-one sessions then at least get a consultation so that the trainer can give you an assessment and set you up on a program that is going to work.
When do I Increase the Intensity?
The key to maintain long term progress is to intensify your training over time. You can do this by adding some variation to your routine or activity and you can do this by increasing the intensity of some parts of your exercise.
For instance, while taking a brisk walk outdoors, you can sprint for 30 seconds and then resume walking for a period of 60 seconds. This is called interval training and has proven to work well for cardiovascular conditioning as well as for fat loss.
The key is to challenge yourself from time to time. Besides, this keeps your program more exciting as you vary your routine and change exercises.
What is the Best Time for Cardio?
For the greatest benefit for fat loss, do your cardio preferably first thing in the morning on an empty stomach as your body will predominantly burn fat for fuel.
Some competitive physique athletes like to take an over the counter fat burning supplement before their morning cardio session to help lose fat faster.
Some people will also advise never to try this late in the evening before bedtime because you will not be able to sleep well.
If you are into weight training, do your weight training routine first and then do your cardio training right after. Again, this is for a maximum fat loss benefit.
If you are going to weight train first, make sure that you have a pre-workout snack 30 minutes before your session.
While you would not want to exercise on an empty stomach, make sure that the meal is not too big as you would not also want to do your training while you are full.
Nichole Arne is a health and fitness instructor and has been working in the industry for over 15 years. She is dedicated to helping educate men and women all over the country on living a healthier lifestyle. Nichole is also a weight loss coach and loves to take on clients who have nearly given up and lost all hope on ever achieving their weight loss goals. Seeing a client’s success is what motivates her to keep on striving for faster results while developing better diet and training systems.