Cardiovascular training, also known as aerobic training, is any form of exercise that elevates the heart rate due to the repeated contraction of muscles while utilizing the aerobic and even, at times, the anaerobic energy system. In other terms, cardio training is any activity that elevates the heart rate and breathing rate.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) fitness guidelines recommends that a healthy adult should aim for at least 150 minutes total of moderate-intensity exercise per week (e.g. steady-state cardio like running, brisk walks, elliptical machine, etc.). This exercise can be broken up into five days of 30 to 60-minute cardio sessions. It said exercise recommendations can also be met through three 20 to 60-minute sessions of vigorous-intensity exercise (high-intensity interval training (HIIT), sprinting, etc.).
Those unable to meet these minimum recommendations can still benefit from some activity like short workouts.
Why you should do cardio training
Cardio keeps your heart healthy. Regular Cardio Exercise can improve the functioning of your heart and reduce the risk of heart disease. But, how will you know if your heart health is improving? It’s measurable! Observe your resting heart rate regularly and watch it get lower the longer you exercise over a period.
Other benefits of cardio training include:
- A healthier heart leads to a healthier brain later in life
- Improves recovery from many diseases
- Increases bone density (especially with high impact forms of cardio)
- Increases the efficiency of the cardiopulmonary system (i.e. the lungs work better, and the body delivers oxygen to the muscles more effectively)
- Best means of exercise to burn calories and therefore lose fat
- Helps regulate depression and other forms of mental illness
- Reduces stress
Most effective cardio workout
Workouts like HIIT-style combines high-intensity intervals with periods of rest or lower intensity intervals (e.g. a 30-second sprint followed by 30-second rest or 20 seconds of burpees followed by 10 seconds of rest). This pairing allows you to push your limits and yield some incredible results.
The best thing about HIIT, in our opinion, is that there is no universal “proper” or “standard” speed, distance, or even intensity level — it all depends on you, your age, and your fitness thresholds.
Cardio Interval Training
HIIT a form of cardio interval training is scientifically proven to be the most effective and time efficient form of cardio because you experience the same benefits like other intense forms of cardio in more than half the time. So, if you’re short on time and want an effective full-body workout that’ll help you get stronger, lose fat, and improve your heart health, HIIT is for you.
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