The health benefits of cardio workouts like walking, running, cycling, and aerobics are not only fabulous fat burners. But also strengthen your heart and lungs by improving your maximal oxygen capacity. Other health benefits of cardio workouts include:
- Adjusting many of the hormonal systems in your body, and making you more resilient to stressful situations.
- Improving your insulin sensitivity, and allowing you to utilize your body fat better for energy.
- Reducing your blood pressure, and providing a boost in “good” HDL cholesterol,
- Helping you develop muscle stamina and overall endurance.
Why You Need Cardio Workouts
If you are doing vigorous exercise such as running, you will develop cardiovascular power and explosive ability essential for good sports. Plus, people who do regular cardio activity show lower risks of many diseases, including heart disease. Not only that, you can achieve a stress-reducing, calming effect from cardio workouts. And may even experience a euphoric aerobic high from longer, high-intensity sessions.
Equally, depending on how you weight-train, you may be able to attain some of these benefits. This can be done through high-intensity circuit training. This is where you lift heavy weights in an explosive way with short rest periods in between exercises and sets. Or you can include aerobic intervals, like jogging in place for a minute or two, in between weight exercises. This type of intensive training can improve your cardiovascular system.
Cardio Benefits Of Brisk Walking
Brisk walking is a great cardio workout that can be done indoors or outdoors. And at any time of day or night, without the need for a gym or special gear. All you need for a walking workout is a comfortable, sturdy pair of shoes and the motivation to get on your feet. Find below a 4-6 days brisk walking workout:
2-3 short, intense training days
30-40 minute walk wearing ankle weights while keeping your pace fast enough so that your breathing is too intense to carry on a conversation. But not so intense that you cannot keep the pace for 30-40 minutes.
20-30 minutes of walk/jog, where you go out in the neighborhood and walk fast for 2 minutes, then jog for 2 minutes. Both the walk and the jog keep your heart rate high enough that 20-30 minutes feels like plenty.
30-40 minute strenuous hike (if you have hills nearby, or find stairs that you can incorporate into your walking regime (5-10 sets of 20 stairs). Or include 5-10 sets of 20 walking lunges in your walkout.
1-2 longer, not as intense, training days
40-50 minutes of walking strong and steadily with a training partner, someone who is as strong as you, maybe even stronger. You pace each other, chat a bit, and plan your next walk so that you stay committed and on schedule.
Keep a steady, but not-too-strenuous, pace.
1 long day
Go for a longer than 60 minutes hike or a scenic walk with your iPhone loaded with your favorite music. Try a “real estate” walk where you go to a neighborhood with beautiful homes and gardens and you walk for over an hour.
This 4-6 day schedule will get you super fit super-fast.
Can I Skip Cardio Workouts?
Some people try to avoid cardio like running to avoid burning too many calories. They prefer doing an hour of weight training and about 15 minutes of cardio exercise on the treadmill. The question is should you cut out the cardio to avoid burning too many calories?
If you are trying to avoid getting too thin, it is normal to assume that it would be a good idea to cut out extra exercise, especially activities like running that burn a high number of calories.
But you should not skip your cardio. This is because, for all-around health and fitness, you should include a variety of different types of exercise in your overall routine.
Furthermore, it is a bad idea to cut out all of your high-intensity cardio that is good for your heart and lungs. However, you can cut back on the amount of time spent in high-intensity fast-running mode to reduce your calorie burn. Simply switch from a long, steady run to an interval walk/jog routine. For example, instead of jogging for 30 minutes, alternate five minutes of brisk walking with one to two minutes of sprints during the 30 minutes.
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