When you hear the words Cardio or Cardiorespiratory training, think of walking, running, cycling, swimming, dancing, and whatever else increase your heart rate considerably. The more you keep your heart rate at a certain level during your workout, the better cardiorespiratory fitness you achieve. In other words, cardio involves mainly the training of your heart (“cardia” is the word for heart in Greek) and less the training of other muscles. Although all the other muscles are engaged in cardio activities, the heart is the muscle that receives the most stress. Yes, your heart is a muscle, too, and by training it, you make it healthier. Those who have quite good cardiorespiratory fitness can keep doing a particular activity for long without taking breaks and getting out of breath.

Brisk walking is by far the best, easiest, and most convenient way to train your heart and improve your cardio. Brisk walking simply means that you should walk fast enough to feel your heartbeats raised, but up to the level that you still can carry on a conversation. Start with a five or 10-minute brisk walk and gradually increase it over time up to 30-40 minutes. That time is enough to give you excellent results. Stick to a weekly schedule (3 times/week, if not more, is pretty good to start with), and make your heart breathe…

Be cautious! Running is quite overestimated. Contrary to some popular thought, we could say that running is not necessarily the best way to improve your cardio, and definitely not the only and best way to burn calories. You should always be smart. Running is a natural activity that may be needed quite often when doing everyday tasks. So, we all should be able to run easily (at least for some minutes), without considerable shortness of breath. However, some exercisers often overdo it with running because they mistakenly think that it’s the best choice for fat loss and the heart’s good health. No, it is not the best choice, it is just one of the choices. Cardio training that includes running in moderation is definitely beneficial. However, compared to walking, running causes more often lower back, knee, or hip injuries due to the high impacts and stress on the joints. If you love running and cannot live without it, add some minutes of a brisk walk between your running time, always run on dirt or track (avoid hard surfaces like the street), and buy new and good quality running shoes every few weeks or months.


Published: November 28th, 2023 | Last Edited: November 28th, 2023 | HEALTH – The Basics | All Posts |


 

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