Having a healthy cardiovascular system is essential to your well-being and your health. Regardless of your daily routine or fitness goals, you should do a certain amount of cardio a week to keep your heart in good shape.
The benefits of doing cardio exercises
Besides making your heart and blood vessels healthier, cardio exercises can give you an extra vibe and energy.
Aerobic activity is a great metabolism booster, which will help you healthily lose weight and sleep tight at night.
Cardio exercises deliver more oxygen to your brain and cells and help you look and feel young longer.
Last but not least, it increases the production of endorphins. This hormone increases your overall sense of happiness, and it is also a natural pain suppressor.
The benefits of cardio exercise are numerous, and you won’t sweat too much to get them!
If having a healthy pumping heart matters to you, read on!
How much cardio per week is enough
First, you should calculate your max heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. So, if you are 33 years old, your max heart rate is 187 bpm.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity that puts your heartbeat at 60-70% of its maximum capacity.
Alternatively, you can do 75 minutes of intense cardio training per week, raising your heart rate to 80% of its maximum capacity.
This amount can be broken down into five sessions of 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or three 25-minute intense training sessions.
If it seems too much to you, then there is something to worry about! The numbers above indicate how much cardio an average healthy person should do a week, while the requirements for athletes are much higher.
If your goals go beyond keeping your cardiovascular system healthy, you should double your cardio practice per week.
Whether you are a professional athlete or want to stay in shape, adding cardio training to your routine is undoubtedly worthwhile!
*If you have any chronic condition, you should consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine.
How to best fit cardio into your routine?
The cardiovascular activity makes you sweat and increases your heart rate. You start breathing more deeply and at a faster pace. If you try to talk while doing cardio, your voice is breathy. If you have been experiencing this, you’ve been doing cardio correctly!
Moderate aerobic activity
Moderate aerobic training involves 30-minute sessions every other day of the week, which isn’t an impossible mission. Choose an activity you enjoy doing and which makes you feel energized.
Here is a list of some activities that you can fit into your schedule:
– Power walking
– Dance classes
– Online or offline aerobic classes
– Rope Jumping
– Take the stairs as often as possible
– Organized sports – soccer, volleyball, basketball
– Trampoline jumping
– Mountain climbing
– Jogging in place (with high knees)
– Jumping jacks
– Rock Climbing
– Squat Jumps
High-intensity aerobic activity
You should aim for high-intensity aerobic activity to keep your sessions short but sweaty. All of the activities mentioned above can be integrated into a high-intensity session. All you need to do is do the exercises at a faster pace.
Recent research on shorter and longer cardio sessions has shown that High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the best form of cardio training if you want to get rid of belly and visceral fat (fat on your internal organs).
Some of the benefits of short HIIT sessions instead of longer low-intensity cardio sessions are:
- HIIT speeds up your metabolism after the session
- Improves the muscle nutrition
- Higher fat burning rates
- Spikes in growth hormone
- Significant post-workout appetite suppression
Whether you choose a long, low-intensity session or a shorter, high-intensity one, you will undoubtedly reap the benefits of doing something good for your health!
How to create a habit that sticks?
Many people would like to do more cardio, but they often fall off track. Does it sound like you? Here are some tricks for creating a long-lasting good habit for your health:
- Start it easy – your body might not be accustomed to cardio, and you may feel tired and depleted if you try too much too soon. Stary with easy 10-15 minute sessions and slowly work your way up.
- Set a goal that is realistic and motivating.
- Get a training partner to support you during your journey to better health. Doing exercises with a buddy is a great way to create a good habit and a long-lasting friendship at the same time.
- Listen to your body: if you feel like taking a short break in the middle of your intense cardio practice, do so. Never push your body past its limits to clock in more time.
- Pick an activity you enjoy: this will make your cardio practice more pleasant. If you want neither of the above, pick the one you dislike most. Just as appetite comes with eating, so does cardio fitness: the more benefits you see, the more devoted you’ll get.
- Get it done early in the day – fitting an exercise session early into your schedule
increases the chances of actually getting it done.
- Get a solid inner motivation: even if regular exercising is not directly linked to longevity, it will certainly add some extra vibe and energy to your everyday life.
Thus, your body will stay functional and more flexible for longer, significantly improving your overall quality of life.
You will become more efficient and effective in caring for your loved ones and better serve your community. It allows you to lead by example and help others achieve similar goals. How great is that?
Cardio exercises are great
, and when paired with a healthy diet plan and moderate strength and flexibility training sessions, they can work wonders for your overall well-being!
Now that you have all these valuable tips grab your planner and fit those cardio sessions into your week! Happy exercising!