Everyone knows that cardio is terrific for you, you feel great just by going for a walk, jog and or run. It's an essential component of any workout program, whether you want to lose weight or be healthier.
When you go to the gym, it's the first thing you do. You'll find more people on cardio machines than strength training machines.
Many health professionals recommend 150 mins of cardio per week. Performing this amount of cardio is known to reduce the health risk. It's significant to get a deep understanding of cardio but first let's define cardio.
Cardio is defined as cardiovascular exercise, and any repetitive movement will fall under the umbrella. Those movements can be brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, rowing, and cross country skiing.
Usually, the reason for cardio is to raise your heart rate and push yourself to an intense pace. Many people do cardio for different reasons. Let's take a look at some of those reasons and benefits.
All of these benefits can be reach at any level; it can be low impact or high impact. The best time to jump into your cardiovascular exercise is first thing in the morning before you start your day.
People who do morning cardio reported being in a better mood and having a better day than people that don't. Whether you aim for the morning, midday or night, your body is still getting everything it needs.
Now that we have talked about the pros of cardio, it's only fair that we discuss the cons. Too much cardio isn't right for you, and some people don't always know their limits.
Someone who does an excessive amount of cardio can experience feelings of fatigue, oversleeping, muscle loss, feelings of tiredness, and extreme weight loss. In some instances, someone can binge eat because of the number of calories they are consistently burning. If you are not familiar with binge eating, it's when someone frequently consumes unusually large amounts of foods in one sitting and feels that consumption is out of control. Bulimia is associated with binge eating.
Another con of too much cardio comes from depleting your body. Cardio burns a lot of calories, and we need calories to survive, that's why we eat. When you do cardio, your body needs extra fuel to keep you going. If energy levels are not in the right place you can find yourself passing out on the gym floor or where ever you are, so you need to ensure that you're getting enough carbs, fats, and protein to feed your body.
For my female readers who love cardio but their goal is to get toned, I'm sorry to tell you that cardio isn't the way to do it. Getting toned requires your muscles to tighten up and grow. Unfortunately, cardio doesn't do that.
Here's a tip that you probably already knew but neglect. Drinking plenty of water before and after your cardio is significant because of all the water your body will lose. When running outside on a sunny day, you'll want to avoid the sun and or possibly increase your water intake.
We've covered machinery cardio but what can you do when you're at home. Some at-home bodyweight exercises that you can do are burpees, jumping jacks, high knees, mountain climbers, bear crawls, and squat jumps. Any jumping should be used with caution for people with knee pain and or avoided.
When you implement cardio with free weights, you achieved more benefits. The benefits are towards not just good heart health, but your muscles are engaging as well, which means your body gets more good stress.
Pain experienced with cardio should is sometimes severe and should be looked after. If you are a runner, at some point, you've gotten shin splints. Shin splints are pain that occurs when shinbone is overuse. Shin splints take place when tendons, bones, and muscles tissue are overworked. Shin splints take places when athletes change the intensity of their training routines. The pain can be self-treated with ice packs to reduce the swelling.
Cardio is also an excellent way to get rid of water weight and often tricks people into thinking that they've lost weight. When you do a long duration of cardio, you're likely to lose a lot of sweat. Someone stepping on the scale looking for weight loss, it's easy to believe that you've lost weight because the scale will detect less water and show a different number.
In the end, there are many benefits to cardio that leads to a healthier and more enjoyable lifestyle. The chemical endorphins that are released works with the receptors in your brain that decreases the perception of pain. These endorphins are similar to that of morphine in the "feel good' feeling you receive. The pros of cardio outweigh the cons, but those cons should play a key role in how you perform them. Cardio doesn't need to be every day but instead consistent over time to see the results it brings.
Any form of exercise is in some way helpful for your body and whether you enjoy it or not. Cardiovascular exercise is necessary for human life and will always bring value to you in many ways that we can and cannot see or detect.
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NASM CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER
NASM FITNESS NUTRITION SPECIALIST
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