I would like to explore the benefits of cardio and look at ways to get the most out of your cardio training and why we should incorporate it into our training routine
Many of my articles have had a focus on resistance training and the benefits we receive both from a health and physical perspective.
I would like to explore the benefits of cardio and look at ways to get the most out of your cardio training and why we should incorporate it into our training routine.
Many focus on cardio as a way to burn calories and lose weight, but in reality cardio is a great way to improve the quality of your life and aid in muscle recovery.
There are five benefits to combining a proper cardio plan with resistance training.
. it makes your heart stronger.
. it has been shown that regular consistent exercise can improve health.
. it helps you better manage health issues.
. it improves your metabolism.
. it improves muscle recovery.
. it improves your mental health, relieves stress and can help balance hormones.
The first step to your cardio training is to work out your maximum and target heart rate.
. Maximum heart rate: 200-(your age x .67)
. Target hart rate-to find your target heart rate, multiply the percentage of effort by you MHR.
There are many methods to do cardio training.
You can do a steady endurance cardio. For this type of training you set a target heart rate and work at keeping it there for a set duration of time. This can be anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on your goals.
Aerobic training can improve your endurance, digestion, sleep, resting heart rate and heart health, and reduce stress.
You can do a 30 minute endurance cardio workout. This can b done on any piece of cardio equipment. Just make sure you put on a heart rate monitor to regulate your heart rate.
Time intensity: 0-5 minutes 50%, 5-15 minutes 60%, 15-30 minutes 40%.
High-intensity interval training involves alternating a burst of all out high intensity (performing at 90-100%)with periods of lower intensity (usually at around 50-60%).
This is done for a set period of time and the workout is usually shorter, ranging from 15-30 minutes.
It has been shown that 12 weeks of regular HIIT training can reduce body fat, and increase lean mass and aerobic power.
Tabata training is a great example of HIIT training and it only take eight minutes to complete the workout. All you have to do is work hard for 20 seconds, rest and recover for 10 seconds and repeat for four rounds.
You can do this with almost any combination of exercises.
I like to do this at home with body weight exercises ranging from squats, lunges, burpees, push-ups and sit-ups - the choice of exercise is endless.
Being only eight minutes, it's a great way to fit your exercise on the days you are time poor.
With variable intensity interval training your work-to-rest ratio and intervals can vary in time and intensity, which helps keep your body guessing at all times.
This is a great way to train if you want quick results in your fitness goals and as a bonus you continue to burn 20-35% more calories during the session and in the following 24 hours.
A simple VIIT workout using box jumps/step ups/jump squats/burpees in combination with a walk or slow jog.
. Warm up with a walk on treadmill for three minutes.
. 30 seconds exercise followed with one-minute walk/jog 50%.
. Repeat through for 20 minutes. You can always vary the exercise each time to make it more interesting and to challenge the body differently.
. Cool down with a two minute walk on the treadmill.
As you can see, there is so much you can do to tinker with your cardio program to create variety and increase your results.
The main thing is that it is important to just get moving.
Cardio, even in its simplest form of heading outside for a walk, is a fantastic starting point to achieving good health and fitness.
So let's get moving today so we can reap the benefits for a healthier life tomorrow.
Shelley Myatt is the owner and operator of Shelley Myatt Fitness and Well-Being, Columnist, Life Coach & Motivational Speaker based in Toowoomba, Qld.