A woman is working on her cardio exercise by using an elliptical.

Training Your Heart: Adding Cardio to the Mix

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A woman is working on her cardio exercise by using an elliptical.

Are your working on your cardio?

The ever-elusive cardio. You’re always told that you need to do more but have you ever asked yourself, why? Why do you need to add cardio to your daily fitness routine? Well, you should know that bulking up isn’t the key to exercise, staying healthy and improving your body’s performance is. Cardio strengthens two parts of the body that keep you going – the heart and the lungs. Let’s take a look at how cardiovascular fitness can help you live long and stay strong.

Cardio Training Improves the Body

Cardiovascular fitness is otherwise known as aerobic exercise. These exercises cause the oxygenated blood to pump through the heart, stimulating your muscles, tissues, and organs. The term “aerobic” means doing a task that requires oxygen. Basically, it makes your heart beat faster and help your rate of breathing keep up with intense activity.

When you train the heart and lungs through aerobic exercise, you improve respiration and your circulatory system. In turn, your heart and lungs are stronger, giving more energy to your body. A strong heart will decrease the likelihood that you will develop heart disease or that your heart will fail.

Staying Healthy Overtime

How cardio affects your health is important. This form of exercise is known to extend life expectancy. People find that cardiovascular fitness contributes to weight loss, burning excess fat and calories. People who maintain good cardio also have low blood pressure, reducing the level of bad cholesterol in their system.

With better circulation of blood in the body, people also experience better sleep, increased bone density, and improved brain function. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults practice several hours of cardio every week. For a complete breakdown, you can take a look here.

Cardio Exercises

In order to start your cardiovascular fitness, you need to know the which exercises to try. Here are a few that will test the limits of what you can do:

  • Running and Jogging – Running and jogging gets your body moving, putting your legs, lungs, and heart to work. A good run will burn almost 600 calories in an hour. Even after your run, the exercise stimulates the metabolic rate for at least 24 hours. You’ll also tone your hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and gastrocnemius muscles.
  • Elliptical – An elliptical is a great machine for low-intensity exercises. It puts less strain on the knees and hips while providing a calorie burning workout. If you want to protect your joints and receive adequate cardio training, this is the way to go.
  • Kettlebell – The kettlebell workout can be a bit deceptive. When you normally think of weights, you think of strength training. However, kettlebell workouts contribute to cardiovascular fitness. While also strengthening your muscles, it can burn up to 20 calories a minute.
  • Interval Training – Otherwise known as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), this exercise involves you performing a series of exercises. That include sprints, lunges, and more. You are able to push yourself hard enough while giving yourself adequate resting time. HIIT will ultimately train your body to give you the best results.

If you want to work on your cardio and other areas of your body, try semi-private group training at the W Training Facility. You’ll get the attention you deserve and learn how to keep your body in shape.

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