A lot of people don't appreciate the benefits of cardio or how low intensity cardio is different from high intensity cardio. Consequently, they don't fit it into their training schedules. Here are the main benefits of cardio:
- Reduced resting heart rate.
- Reduced resting blood pressure.
- Improved muscular endurance.
- Better blood flow right through your body.
- Reduced proportions of body fat.
- Reduced stress levels.
- Additional vigor to carry out your everyday activities with dynamism.
- Helps you burn calories.
- Cardio makes your heart strong so that it doesn't have to work as hard to pump blood.
- Increased lung capacity.
- Reduced risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
It's obvious that a lot of us are not following the newest health guidelines that recommend an hour of exercise a day, with 37% of Americans overweight. Cardiovascular exercise basically means that you're occupied in a movement that elevates your heart rate to a level where you're working, but can still talk.
There have been recent studies on what type of cardio you should be doing, high intensity or low intensity. One set of people did high intensity cardio for a period of time while others did low intensity cardio. At the conclusion of the test the group doing the high intensity cardio had burned more fat than the group that did the low intensity cardio.
The top cardio exercise is basically the one that you will do day in and day out without fail. Our recommendation is to try both intensity levels, each for about six weeks and check your progress with a journal and take weekly photographs of yourself to see if you're really losing body fat.
High Intensity Cardio And Fat Loss
Particularly in terms of fat loss, a lot of health and weight loss specialists believe high intensity cardio is much more helpful than "regular" low intensity cardiovascular exercise. Research has revealed that short, high intensity cardio workouts can supply all of the subsequent health benefits:
- Radically improved metabolism – both for the duration of AND following workouts.
- Quicker rate of body fat-to-energy conversion.
- Less lean body mass loss.
- Major boost in aerobic capacity.
Regardless of the sport you play, high intensity cardio is certain to get you into the best shape. Nearly all of the studies affirm that to efficiently burn body fat you must decide on a particular form of cardiovascular exercise and do it for at least 20 minutes at a modest intensity level. Although this definitely holds true for the majority of novice fitness buffs, there are more efficient ways to decrease body fat for elite athletes and general health enthusiasts who are already in great cardiovascular shape.
Low-intensity exercise is defined as working at a heart rate of about 60% to 65% of your maximum heart rate (which is equal to 220 – your age = maximum heart rate, thus if you are 20 years old, 220 – 20 = 200 is your max HR). High-intensity exercise is defined as working at about 75-85% or more of your maximum heart rate. Using the previous example for maximum heart rate (max HR = 200), working at 60% of your max HR would be 120 beats per minute and 80% would be 160 beats per minute.
Cardio Equipment And Exercise
There's a lot of great cardio equipment out there and you can use a variety of them, ranging from treadmills, to exercise bikes to stair steppers and more. Always perform a full range of motion on the exercise equipment. If you're using a treadmill, take longer steps and avoid holding on to the rails. Instead, let your arms move back and forth as if you're running.
Spinning is the new craze for health fanatics, a wacky mix of cardiovascular activity and untamed imagination geared at stuffing excitement into your daily workout. Just one fleeting look into the aerobics room during a spinning class will convince you of its exhilarating appeal. Originating in Los Angeles in the early 90's, spinning has since been a growing beneficiary from the fitness explosion, racing through health clubs all through the United States.
Here are the top ten cardio exercise that burn the most calories in 30 minutes:
- Step aerobics – this type of exercise mainly targets your legs, hips and glutes, and can burn approx. 400 calories in 30 minutes.
- Bicycling – stationary or outdoors, this is a great cardio exercise. Depending on resistance and speed, bicycling can burn 250 to 500 calories in 30 minutes.
- Swimming – the breaststroke can burn approx. 400 calories in 30 minutes.
- Racquetball – the side-to-side sprinting makes this an excellent cardio workout.
- Rock climbing – is not only a cardio exercise, but it also uses arm and leg strength.
- Cross-country skiing – is an unbelievable cardio exercise as it engages both upper and lower body, whether done on a machine or outdoors in snow.
- Running – this is an outstanding cardio exercise because all you need is a pair of quality running shoes.
- Rowing – gives your arms an incredible workout.
- Elliptical trainer – a great way to build endurance.
- Walking – a less strenuous form of cardio exercise.
Your focus should be to burn one pound of body fat per week. Select the cardio workout you like best and don't be afraid to mix the exercises up.