Best Cardio Exercises

cardio exercise on treadmill

Cardio is any type of rhythmic exercise that increases your heart rate. Also called aerobic exercise, cardio includes various activities like running, swimming, jumping, and cycling. The American Heart Association (AHA) and health experts advise adults to do about 150 minutes of light to moderate cardio or 75 minutes of intense cardio every week.

Benefits of Cardio

There are so many benefits to doing cardio exercises that it’s worth dedicating a few hours to every week. When your heart rate increases, your blood pumps through your body faster, which means more oxygen is distributed through your body.

Besides maintaining the health of the heart and lungs, doing cardio exercises regularly has many mental and physical health benefits. Some of these benefits are:

  • Helps you to lose weight as it burns fat and calories
  • Strengthens the heart, making it easier to pump blood
  • Decreases the chances of you suffering from a heart attack
  • Cardio exercises like hiking and climbing stairs increase the bone density
  • Prevents you from developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Reduces the risk of developing diabetes
  • Expands the lung capacity so that more air can enter the lungs
  • Lowers stress levels
  • Elevates your mood, helping you to be positive, as endorphins are released when you exercise
  • Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression

The Best Type of Cardio Exercises

The success of any workout routine lies in your ability to do it consistently, so choosing the best type of cardio for you should be the first step in your fitness journey.

To find the best type of cardio for you, think about what you enjoy doing, what will suit your lifestyle. and the amount of time you can dedicate to it. Do you like working out in the morning or evening? Would you like to exercise at home, or do you prefer to go to the gym or a park? Do you want to exercise in a group, or is it something you enjoy doing on your own?

Walking, Jogging, and Running

The simplest way to get an excellent cardio workout is to walk, jog, or run. These exercises are easy to do and cost nothing. You can run outside on the road or in a park, allowing you to breathe fresh air.

This set of exercises is particularly beneficial for folks who spend most of their time indoors. The downside of road running is that your ability to run can be affected by the weather. It can be uncomfortable if it’s too hot or too cold and dangerous if there’s lightning or heavy rain.

The Treadmill

Walking or running on a treadmill is the perfect alternative to running outside. A significant benefit is that you’re protected from the weather elements outside, and if you have a treadmill at home, you can go for a run whenever it’s convenient.

Running on a treadmill is less stressful on your body than running outside and lets you monitor your blood pressure and heart rate. This is very useful for patients with heart disease or people recovering from an illness because it will guide them on when they need to slow down.

There are many different treadmills on the market with a range of features. So, if you want to purchase one, shop around to find one of the top treadmills that suit you.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT workouts have become extremely popular. You can join a HIIT class at your local gym or train at home by following a HIIT workout online. A HIIT workout involves doing an intense exercise for 30 to 60 seconds followed by a recovery or slow exercise for the same length of time.

The workout is a series of these vigorous and slow exercises that you complete in a set of, on average, 6 to 8 exercises. You can do 2 to 4 rounds of each set.

An example of a simple HIIT workout might include doing each of the following for 40 seconds:

  • Squat jumps
  • Walking on the spot
  • Burpees
  • Walking on the spot
  • Push-ups
  • Walking on the spot
  • Crunches
  • Walking on the spot

You can include weights or resistance bands in your HIIT workout, but it is not necessary.

Swimming

If you’re looking for a low-impact gentle exercise that is also very effective, try swimming. Swimming is an excellent full-body exercise that works your lower body, upper body, and core, but it won’t leave you feeling strained even if you swim a lot. It helps tone all the muscles in your body and builds strength.

The best exercise for those with joint discomfort, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis is swimming since it’s less taxing on your joints than most other cardio exercises. In fact, it has been shown to decrease joint pain.

Additionally, it’s the safest option if you’re recovering from an injury and still want to work out. This is especially true if you’ve sustained a lower-body injury. Because water is buoyant, it provides more support to your joints and muscles compared to exercising on land. This means you can continue working out without putting pressure on your muscles and joints.

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