Are you the kind of person who wanted to lose weight for months, but gave up because of long-standing diets and gym procedures? Usually, for a start, cardio exercises can kickstart your weight loss journey.
Cardio-respiratory exercise is a group of exercises that rely on aerobic energy-producing mechanisms in the body. That’s why cardio exercise is also called aerobic exercise. Aerobic refers to any mechanism or reaction that requires oxygen as a base. For example, all energy-producing systems in our bodies require oxygen to carry out reactions. Thus, cardio exercise also depends on the oxygen taken up by our respiratory system.
If you want to lose weight, follow a good diet and enough cardio exercise. Generally, a good diet along with cardio and strength training helps in shedding those extra kilos fast.
Cardio Exercise: Introduction
Cardio exercises are repetitive activity sequences that focus on raising the heart rate. On the basis of weight and age, we divide it into low and high intensity cardio exercises.
We consider cardio exercises to be the best for weight loss because they convert carbohydrates into ATP through mitochondria. We group these exercises into several categories. For example, running at an average pace for long periods is a cardio exercise. Categories and types can be confusing at times.
types of cardio exercise
Now that we know that cardio exercises are a wide range of physical activities, it is important to know the difference between them in order to choose the best one for you.
Some types or groups of cardio exercises are listed below.
rigorous cardio exercise
These are groups of exercises that are of high intensity in nature.
- walk fast
- Tennis (Singles)
- Hiking / Trekking
- jumping rope
- climbing stairs
- cross country skiing
moderate cardio exercise
These exercises are of low to moderate intensity.
- Tennis (Double)
- hiking downhill
- moderate walk
How do cardio exercises help you lose weight?
ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is the body’s currency because it is its primary energy source. ATP is for the body which is the petrol for the vehicles, is the fuel for the body. Based on daily activity and food intake, the body uses the fuel present in the body. Mitochondria produce this fuel, or ATP, through various mechanisms. ATP production is mainly due to the food we eat. On overeating, it gets stored as glycogen in the liver or gets stored as fat in different parts of the body.
Depending on the intensity of the exercise, the stored fat is converted into energy, or ATP, for further use. Typically, exercises performed at a moderate pace and aid in greater weight loss than high-intensity activities. This is because a person may feel tired after a few minutes of high-intensity exercise, whereas this is not the case with moderate- or low-intensity exercise. Furthermore, during moderate exercise, the body uses fat for energy production, whereas in high-intensity workouts, glycogen is a quick energy form. In addition, glycogen is depleted within minutes. Then the accumulated fat gets burnt.
Cardio exercise helps in reducing fat more than any other.
benefits of cardio exercise
In addition to weight loss, cardio exercise has many additional benefits related to the body’s all-important metabolic systems. Some of these benefits are below.
- strengthens the respiratory muscles
- reduces stress
- Lowers chances of depression
- Erythropoiesis – Increases the production of red blood cells, thus increasing the oxygen carrying capacity.
- reduce your chances of type 2 diabetes
- It improves heart health and reduces heart disease.
- Lowers cholesterol level
- Prevents and reduces bone loss
- Reduces chances of stroke
- increases pain tolerance
- lowers blood pressure
- Enlarges heart muscle, improves pumping level and efficiency
- Improves daily memory: Episodic memory
- Reduces chances of osteoporosis
These benefits are from some studies. More evidence is yet to come on these facts.
The HealthifyMe Note
Cardio-respiratory or aerobic exercise is a group of high-intensity activities that encourage rapid weight loss. Cardio exercise includes a wide range of exercises grouped into two major categories, high- and moderate-intensity exercises. Although the main benefit of cardio exercise is weight loss, it also has many other benefits that help improve heart health.
best cardio exercise
Cardio exercise has many health benefits. But to get these benefits, one needs to include cardio in their daily schedule. Also, since cardio activities cover a wide range of exercises, it can confuse a beginner about which exercises are best for a particular person with a certain BMR. Hence, some of the best cardio exercises are mentioned below.
jogging in a field
Are you worried that you don’t have any garden or park area to jog everyday, but still you have the motivation to jog? Then this exercise can do wonders for you. All you need is a mat to avoid slipping.
Start jumping on your feet one after the other. Mix it by moving your arms on both sides. This exercise will increase your heart rate and serve as a good warm-up exercise as every part of your body is stretched and activated.
Dancing is one of the best cardio exercises ever. It has no pre-requisites. Any part of your home can be your dance floor. There are no practical steps to dance. Just turn up the music volume, dance to your favorite song and burn those calories!
Anyone can do jumping jacks anywhere. Moreover, the steps are very simple.
- Stand with your feet approximately hip width apart.
- Start jumping with your arms extended. Next, bounce onto your feet and extend your arms to either side.
- Bring your arms and legs back to the starting position.
At first, start with jumping jacks at a slow pace, and then you can vary and increase the intensity of the exercise.
It is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. Jumping rope, also called skipping, requires a rope. You can opt for two-leg jumping or one-legged jumping. Gradually you can increase the intensity/speed as well.
This exercise falls under the category of advanced cardio. It activates the lower muscles of the body.
- Start in pushup position.
- Bring one of your knees to your chest and switch legs.
- Increase the intensity by quickly switching legs.
You must include the above exercises in cardio exercises. You can also incorporate cardio by going stair climbing and brisk walking daily instead of the lift.
How Much Cardio Do You Need?
Cardio needs vary from person to person. It depends on many factors. These factors are:
- BMR: Basal Metabolic Rates
- fitness level
- oxygen carrying capacity
- red blood cells and hemoglobin
- body fat
- cardio exercise frequency
Even though cardio is interdependent on many factors, some conditions are common. These are below. Older adults can follow these rules.
- If you opt for regular moderate-intensity cardio exercise, you need at least 150 minutes of activity per week. For example, a 30-minute walk five days a week achieves this.
- If you opt for high-intensity cardio, you need 75 minutes of vigorous cardio per week. People who are already fit and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle can take this approach.
- After losing some weight, you should continue to do 300 minutes of cardio activity per week to maintain that weight.
physical activity guidelines The United States put forward all these rules.
Even though the elderly can do all the cardio exercise reserved for younger adults, some rules are prescribed for the elderly. national institute on aging, These are below.
- Light activity, preferably warm-up or early cardio activities
- These exercises should not cause severe chest pain or dizziness.
- It will help if you don’t consume a lot of fluids while exercising. (Exception: if prescribed by a doctor).
Tips for Beginners Cardio Programs
From a beginner’s point of view, cardio can be exhausting and exhausting if it is limited to the treadmill. Many people assume they can only do cardio in the gym, which is limited to certain machines. However, this is not true at all. As a solution, there are some suggestions:
- First, choose an activity that you will undoubtedly enjoy, such as dancing.
- Then, incorporate a warm-up and cool-down (stretching) into the sessions.
- Pick the right spot and set the right intensity
- set schedule
- Gradually increase cardio timing
- Start with 30 Minutes of Cardio Activity
- Combine cardio with strength training and a complete diet to lose excess weight.
- Check target heart rate with heart rate monitor and change cardio intensity and duration accordingly.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself to increase the workout time with each passing day.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is an enjoyable activity to combine with cardio. In addition, it burns more calories than low-intensity training.
Disadvantages of Cardio Exercise
Cardio activity has some disadvantages and limitations. These are below.
- There has been an increase in the number of injuries due to repetitive high-intensity exercises.
- It may help in weight loss initially but may not be effective in the long run if the intensity is not high.
The HealthifyMe Note
Cardio is undoubtedly a great way to burn calories effectively. However, it cannot help to lose weight on its own. You need to combine it with an effective diet plan and strength training. Cardio exercise will help you lose fat initially but will not help you lose weight in the long run. They are for people of any age group, but you should regulate and change the routine according to your age and metabolic rate.
cardio for muscle gain
They usually stop cardio exercise if they are trying to gain muscle. But, as vague as it sounds, cardio can help you gain muscle. In addition, according to studiesAerobic activities such as cycling, running and walking can also help increase leg mass.
Do cardio for two weeks before starting the muscle gain process. Doing this will help in improving the aerobic system. In addition, a better aerobic system will enable better strength training for muscle/mass gains.
aerobic and anaerobic exercise
Anaerobic exercise typically includes strength training and short-distance running.
Aerobic exercise is also anti-inflammatory, improves heart health, aids in the growth of new tissues, etc.
There should be a balance between both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. This is because the anaerobic system comes into play when the aerobic system is exhausted due to the demand for oxygen. The anaerobic system will generate the required ATP. This ATP will reactivate the aerobic system.
Cardio exercise is a boon in disguise. It aids in weight loss, improves heart health, reduces the risk of diabetes, etc. Cardio is an exercise that does not require special equipment. Instead, you can incorporate it into daily activities such as stair climbing, dancing and walking.
We chose the best form of cardio according to BMR and age. The general categories of cardio are: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level. Doing cardio alone will not help you lose kilos. Cardio with proper diet and HIIT can do wonders for your body.