The secrets to health and fitness are pretty simple – eat well, get plenty of exercise. However, one crucial type of exercise is unfortunately one that most people know little about. What does Cardio-Vascular mean, and how do we utilize it?
Cardio-Vasuclar means working out to the optimum level for a healthy heart and optimized weight loss and fitness. All you need to get a good Cardio-Vascular workout is decent running shoes – don’t hold back on investing in good quality shoes that will reduce shock to your feet, ankles, legs and back. No other props are required to get started. Running, dancing, walking – all of these qualify as Cardio Fitness. Other forms like swimming, cycling, circuit training, aerobics, do need additional equipment, but you can get to that at a later stage.
As always you need to warm up before you begin a workout, and cool down afterwards to protect your muscles.
Always stretch out your muscles before and after running – at least 30 seconds spent on each muscle to loosen up and prevent injury. Before you run start with a brisk walk, then gradually increase speed. If you become tired, slow down to walking pace again until you get your breath back. Continue this process, increasing speed and time spent running as the days go by.
One of the best ways to get a good cardio-vascular workout. You will need a bike for outdoor use, or an indoor exercise bike. It is easier than ever to fit cycling into your daily routine – cycling to work has become the norm in many cities. With outdoor cycling you get the fresh air, the changing environment, the natural hills and slopes, and the scenery. The benefits of indoor cycling are that you can increase speed and resistance and monitor your heart rate and distance etc.
Both are good forms of Cardio if done correctly. Make sure you get your heart rate up a little and break a sweat. Simply riding a bike for five miles, three times a week, will improve your heart rate, posture, skin, and help you control your weight. It can also greatly relieve stress.
Swimming for Cardio is great to firm up and trim down the body. Water provides a natural resistance so all the major muscle groups are working and the body can burn up to 20% more calories than out of water exercise. Just swimming a few lengths a day will keep you fit.
Swimming also has less impact on your joints, so injury is less likely than with running etc. Increase your speed and the amount of lengths as time passes and you will notice an increase in personal fitness and the way your body looks and feels.
Example Cardio-Vascular Gym Workout
Try to do Cardio for between 60 and 90 minutes. Assuming you are of medium fitness, the following gym workout will work for you. (Adjust time and distance accordingly)
Run lightly for 20 minutes, start off walking and gradually increase to a run, this gets your blood pumping and warms you up.
Rowing machine- 15 minutes. Steady pace for 13 minutes then slow down for 2.
Move to exercise bike, cycle steadily for 12 minutes with a sprint finish for the final 3.
Move to Step Climber for 15 minutes – light level to get your legs going. This is the last leg of the workout so try to keep a swift pace.
Ab bench – abdominal crunches or workouts are extremely beneficial. Four sets of crunches here if you are able. Twist your body – right elbow to left knee and vice versa.
Finish with the leg raise apparatus. Bring knees up to chest for 3-4 repeatedly until you are tired.
Always do a Full Cool Down afterward by stretching all of your muscles out and relaxing.