A cardio workout means exercising to work your whole cardiovascular system. This means that you exercise hard enough to get your
heart beating faster to pump oxygenated blood from the lungs around your body to deliver oxygen to the muscle. You need to be able
to work hard enough to break into a sweat, increase your heart rate but still be able to hold a conversation.
By exercising regularly your cardiovascular system will adapt and your heart and lungs will become stronger, you will be able to
exercise for longer durations with great long term health benefits.
These are some of the benefits you should expect to see if you train regularly following the American College of Sports Medicines
- Become aerobically fitter – able to work at higher intensity, or train for longer
- Your muscles will become stronger and it will take them longer to fatigue
- You will feel more energised
- Greater stamina
- Reduced resting heart rate
- You will be able to cope better with everyday stress
- It will help lift mood
- Improve sleep
- Improve general health and well being
- Protective benefits against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers
- Helps reduce blood pressure and improved blood cholesterol levels
- Increases metabolism, burns fat and helps with weight maintenance
Moderate intensity cardio work 30 minutes a day, five days per week or vigorous intensity cardio 20 minutes a day for 3 days
Include 10 strength training exercises of eight to 12 repetitions each twice per week.
It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The
30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.
Getting Started with Cardio Training
- Start with a fitness plan and set your goals.
- You can start slow and increase the amount of days of cardio once you are able to achieve this, eventually aiming for the recommendation above.
- You can set weekly goals and update them as you become fitter.
- Set a weekly schedule, so it fits in around your normal routine for example cycle to work and run at lunchtime, or make it a family affair. You are more likely to stick to it if becomes routine.
- You can start with walking, cycling, running, or an exercise or dance class, swimming or playing sports, make sure it’s an activity you enjoy.
- Mix up the activities so you don’t get bored.
- The strength session can be done with free weights, resistance bands, resistance machines if you have access to a gym.