It is recommended that adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week. Unfortunately, a large percentage of adults do not undertake even half of that. If the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we need to look after our bodies, especially the cardiovascular areas.
Cardiovascular activity, or simply cardio as it is better known, is an aerobic activity that raises both your breathing and heart rate. It should be rhythmic in nature, be continuous, and use large muscle groups. Cardio exercise strengthens your heart, burns plenty of calories, and improves your overall fitness levels.
Running Is The Cardio King
Humans have run since they gained the ability to stand on two legs, and it is one of the most popular cardio exercises performed today. Not needing any specialized equipment to run, although you may want to invest in some running shoes. A typical sports stars’ preseason fitness routine involves a lot of running as they try to build their fitness to a level that allows them to compete at the highest level. NFL teams listed on sportsbettingsites.com are gearing up right now for the upcoming 2021 season and will be spending hours runnings.
Middle-to-long distance is the most common form of running. You see dozens of joggers every day on your commute to and from work, no doubt. However, there are several types of running that you should incorporate into your routine.
A base run is short to moderate length runs done at a natural pace. These improve your endurance and aerobic capacity. Hill runs, that is, running up inclines, require more intensity and help build lower body strength.
Performing sprints is also a good idea if you want to improve the cardio aspect of your fitness. Sprints increase your explosive power as you go from a standing start to full speed and back down again.
Walk Before You Can Run
People underestimate how good walking is for cardio fitness. Experts recommend aiming for 10,000 steps per day, which works out at approximately five miles, or a shade over eight kilometers. However, the average number of steps for an adult, especially those who have office-based work, is under 4,000.
It is easier than you think to achieve 10,000 steps in a single day. Take the steps at work instead of the elevator or walk to the 7-11 instead of driving there. Walk around your house while you wait for the kettle to boil, or just walk around your neighborhood.
Any walking is good exercise, but it is even better when you walk at pace. Doing so increases your heart rate to the levels where your heart is in the fat-burning zone, and it can burn a lot of calories per hour. Best of all, it is free!
Swimming Has Different Strokes For Different Folks
Swimming is a superb cardio exercise that does not put a strain on your joints. Where walking and running can put extra pressure on ankles, knees, and hips, the water in the pool helps take some of the strain from swimmers’ bodies.
Like all other forms of cardio activity, your intensity affects how many calories you burn and how much improvement you see in your cardio capacity. Also, your favorite swimming stroke may not be as good for burning calories as another.
For example, simply treading water would see a typical 140-pound person burn through around 230 calories per hour. There is little cardiac benefit from this activity either. Compare treading water to breaststroke, where the same person burns 340 calories per hour, an almost 50 percent increase.
Those of you wishing to both burn a lot of calories and massively improve your fitness should learn how to swim using the butterfly stroke. Why? Because that same 140-pound person is burning almost 900 calories per hour swimming like that!
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