This week we're tackling Cardiovascular Training. We hear about it on television and read about it in magazines all the time but what is “cardio” actually?
Let's break it down to its simplest form so you can chose which style of cardio is best for you. The basic definition of cardiovascular training is “any exercise that raises your heart rate.” Even though it becomes more in-depth as you become more advanced, I want you to keep the basic definition in mind as you get started.
Here's how a stronger cardio-vascular system helps your body. It means more capillaries deliver more oxygen to cells in your muscles. This enables your cells to burn more fat during both exercise and inactivity. Your heart is a muscle and it is important to challenge it daily to keep it healthy, strong, and working for you - but you don’t have to run a marathon to move your heart and vascular system in the right direction.
Here are some samples (and simple) cardio activities to get you moving - walking, running, bike riding, swimming, rowing, and even dancing. These are all great aerobic workouts.
Keep in mind that during your initial exercise, the talk test is a great measuring tool. If you can’t finish a sentence while doing your workout - you are over doing it. On the other hand, if you're having no trouble at all talking then it’s time to kick it up a notch!
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days of the week. I’m all about daily movement but I also want you to listen to your body. If you are feeling run down from a few days of working out, take a day of rest, then get back to it the following day.
For those of you wondering about different cardiovascular training styles here's a list of the most common. Although this list may look and sound a bit overwhelming, it's important to know about the different styles as you move forward in your exercise journey.
Low Intensity, Long Duration
Medium Intensity, Medium Duration
High Intensity, Short Duration
Aerobic Interval Training
Anaerobic Interval Training
There are many benefits to cardiovascular training including weight loss, a healthier heart, stronger lungs, increased bone density, reduces stress, better sleep, and a reduced risk of heart disease - just to name a few. But to get these benefits, you have to get started! Pick an activity and get moving. The journey begins with one step and it's the most important step you'll ever take.