Is Cardio Good For Fitness, Muscle Tone & Health?
We, living in this modernized world are highly competitive-running a never ending rat race. Most of us are heating up chairs all day just to cover the career goals where people hardly pay any attention on the importance of exercises for health. In a society like that, sparing some extra time on working-out is encouraged in order to keep people healthy and relaxed.
While hitting the gym daily and working hard to prepare your body for the next beach session with all fit abs and an attractive figure, have you ever wondered whether your body is responding to your efforts as much as you expect it to be? ‘Cardio’ does all the magic here and becoming aware of it will help you to carry out your fitness sessions with more effectiveness and knowledge.
What is Cardio?
It is the short term for ‘Cardiovascular’ which involves the heart and blood vessels which circulate oxygenated blood throughout the body. ‘Engaging in cardio’ simply means the involvement of an individual in endurance exercises which enhances the effectiveness of our cardiovascular system.
Any activity which makes your heart rate go up to 50-75% of the maximum value owned by your body, comes under Cardio. This value can be roughly calculated by reducing your age from 220.
E.g.: If you are a 30 years old,
The maximum heart rate you can go up to is 220-30= 190
Where does the secret lie?
Cardio can be little tiring, yet a powerful tool when aiming for a healthy fat loss. It also creates an energy deficit in our metabolism which significantly reduces the amount of food, needed. It must always be carried out in a style which targets on a maximal break-down of fat for energy while sparing the muscle mass and that is where the need for HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) arises.
This special tactic involves 20 minutes of cardio comprising of,
- Short high-intensity period
- Moderate low-intensity period
- Cooling-down phase
Warming up and cooling down are two MUSTs to be carried out during a work-out. Warming up, at the very beginning prepares our body for strenuous exercises which are on the way, whereas cooling down, will get our body back to its normal pace, at the end of the session and today in this article we are going to see the benefits of these two activities, properly blended up with cardio in order to gain the maximum physical results expected.
There are several bodily changes, observed during these exercises like increased heart rate, respiratory rate, energy releasing reactions and blood supply to muscles with oxygen and glucose.
It is obvious that our body excessively heats up during work outs-just like a car engine. Therefore, slowly adjusting your body to such changes is highly important, since sudden heating up procedures without any prior preparation can even end up in death. A good warm up will dilate your blood vessels and ensure a good blood supply to your muscles whereas the body temperature will get adjusted for an optimal efficiency.
Light cardio and Dynamic stretching exercises are effective in avoiding muscle and ligament strains. The ulterior motive of this is to prepare your cardiovascular system without shocking it at once by exposing to a sudden strenuous exertion.
This cardio workout of 5 minutes will play an action role for vigorous activities which are on the way. As a bonus point, the calorie burning role of these light body weight cardio movements will introduce your body to a jump-start for fat burning.
- 10 exercises of 30 seconds each
•Overhead Reaches & Toe Touch Stretches
•Slow High Knee March
•Alternating Toe Touch Kicks
•Full Torso Circles
•Lateral Step Toe Touches
Once this cardio warming up session is over, your body will be fit enough to face any challenge on strength, HIIT, endurance, power, toning or stretching.
This is as important as warm-ups, because all your heated body muscles and dilated blood vessels should come back to its normal status-following a tough session of work-out, in order to function in the normal manner. Lack of these may end up in vomiting and discomfort so it is always good to spare few seconds on pampering your tired muscles by Dynamic stretching and cardio.
Dynamic Stretching will reduce the formation of lactic acid in muscles which is responsible for cramps and stiffness.
- 30 sec each-
•Rocking Side Kicks
•Rocking Butt Kickers + Ventral Pulls
•Arm Crossover Swings + Lateral Steps
- 20 sec each-
•Rocking Inside Thigh
•Wall Chest Stretch
Swinging between high and low intensity phases will keep your body in a ‘fat-burning mode’ without burning carbohydrates or proteins for energy. Several research studies have shown that, HIIT is highly effective on optimal fitness which burns fat up to 50% more efficiently than low intensity cardio-which is definitely a plus point!
However, sweating behind all these hard work would go down the drain, if you practice wrong techniques without any proper guidance. So, always stick to a professional and work-out in a manner where you gain the maximum benefits while working the least-
Because WISE MEN work SMART not HARD!!