Cardio Exercise in East Amherst, NY
Why Cardio Should Be an Essential Part of Your Workout Routine
No matter what your goals are for working out – losing weight, relieving stress, or just your overall health – cardio exercises are a key component. Doctors recommend that you do 150 minutes of cardio exercise per week, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you might have to do even more.
If you’re looking to improve your cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio exercise at least 5 days a week or a combination of 25 minutes of high intensity cardio exercise at least 3 days a week and moderate to high intensity strength building exercise at least 2 days a week. If you’re looking to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, they recommend 40 minutes of moderate to high intensity cardio exercise 3-4 days a week.
What is cardio exercise?
Cardio exercise is any repetitive activity that raises your heart rate into your target heart rate zone for at least 10 minutes. Your target heart rate zone is the heart rate at which you’ll burn the most calories and fat.
In order to keep any muscle in your body strong and healthy, it needs to be worked. This goes for the heart as well. Working the muscles in your heart by raising your heart rate will help open up your capillaries and enable you to burn more fat and calories even after you’ve finished your workout.
Cardio exercises can include:
- Walking: easy, safe, and good for beginners
- Elliptical: slight joint impact, but you can increase the incline to work additional muscles
- Running: can increase speed for higher intensity
- High intensity interval training: bursts of high intensity exercise followed by periods of rest
- Cycling: good indoor or outdoor option
- Stair climbing: more muscles than walking
- Jumping rope: cheap and easy
- Swimming: can change strokes to work different parts of the body
- Rowing: low joint impact
- Circuit training: works the elasticity of the arterial wall
What are the benefits of cardio exercise?
Cardio exercise affects just about every part of your body. As a whole, it can help you burn fat and calories and aid you in losing weight. It will also strengthen your heart (so it won’t have to work so hard to pump blood to the rest of your body) and increase the amount of air you can take into your lungs.
Cardio workouts will help you lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels by increasing blood flow. The more your blood vessels are worked, the more elastic they will become, and smaller blood vessels will widen so that more blood and oxygen are getting to your muscles. You’ll also be preventing heart disease and heart attacks, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
Other than physical health, you’ll also provide yourself with stress relief by helping your body release endorphins, which can help with depression and anxiety. You’ll also tire out your body, which will help you sleep better at night.
In the long run, you can maintain your bone density and muscle strength by completing weight-bearing cardio exercises. But on a day-to-day basis, you’ll have more energy; you’ll feel more confident; it sets a good example for your family; and it may help to improve your sex life.
Who should do cardio exercises?
Everyone! It doesn’t matter who you are. Everyone should participate in at least some cardio exercises to help improve and maintain their health.
There are cardio workouts for people who like to exercise outdoors, in a gym, or at home. You don’t have to have a lot of equipment or time either. You can start by doing just a 15 minute walk outside.
Be sure to consult your doctor or a fitness professional before you start your cardio workout to be sure that you’re starting at an intensity level that is right for your health.
Setting up a cardio workout routine
Here are a few things to consider when you’re choosing your cardiovascular exercises:
- Any activity that gets your heart rate up will work. There is no best exercise.
- You can make any activity challenging enough to qualify as cardio.
- Choose an activity that you enjoy so you’re more likely to continue doing it.
- Change up your workout every so often so that you discover more activities you like and don’t get bored.
- Start with the basic exercises to make it a habit before getting too complicated.
Starting with some personal training at a gym is helpful if you need help figuring out the best exercises for you. We’d be happy to help you out! And don’t forget that we offer a free 7-day guest pass for new customers.