Cardio exercises is the way to go, whether you want to reduce your weight or just improve your health or burn excess fat. With many choices, cardio exercises are definitely not boring. Though there are no right or wrong cardio exercises, some are more effective than the rest. The choice of exercises basically depends on your requirements and strength. Unlike before, walking around your neighborhood for a few minutes will no longer help. You need to be healthy, fit and athletic to combat in today’s world. A combination of effective cardio exercises is ideal for this. This is because, cardio workout unlike other exercises, involves a few key elements and results are great. So, why not go with cardio exercises that give better results for your efforts and time?
There are two ways to do cardio exercises – one is like an aerobic activity with steady pace and decent duration. On the other hand, HIIT (high intensity interval training) is different, in that, the duration will involve steady paced exercises, but will have sprints of faster workouts. This way, you burn more calories while exercising and also, afterwards – like for about 24 hours after exercising. This is very important, as the “afterburn”—also termed excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC—is equally valuable for overall weight loss and fat burning.
Numerous researched HIIT is better than steady-paced cardio where heart rate remains constant. However, HIIT needs to be done the right way to prevent overtraining or burnout. You need to be careful and might need professional assistance when starting off.
So, why should you do cardio exercises?
Cardiovascular exercises or cardio is a type of exercise that increases the work of lungs and heart, says Tommy Boone, PhD, who is a founding member of American Society of Exercise Physiologists. He further adds, “Walking, jogging, and running are common forms of cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise.”
The benefits of cardio exercises include:
- You move your entire body and work every part of your body. As a result, you breathe faster and deeper, maximizing your oxygen intake and heart functioning. You will also expel more toxins from your body and your heart functioning improves.
- It reduces the risk of osteoporosis and promotes better muscle mass ratio.
- Since your body releases endorphins during workouts, it works as a natural painkiller to beat pain.
- It keeps excess weight at bay, when coupled with right eating habits.
- Improves your stamina and reduces fatigue.
- Improves immunity and reduces health risks including heart problems, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke and a few types of cancer.
- It can help better manage chronic conditions and reduces blood pressure and sugar.
- It boosts HDL (good cholesterol or high density lipoprotein) and reduces LDL (bad cholesterol, or low density lipoprotein).
- Helps reduce stress, deal with depression and anxiety better and promotes relaxation.
- Last but not the least, it is low-impact or does not affect your joints or elevate pain in your body.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the CDC, every adult needs at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity almost everyday. To improve heart functioning and cardiovascular endurance, doing 20 – 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercises 2 – 5 days a week is ideal.