Cardio is any form of exercise which increases your heart rate.
It’s a bit of an all-rounder, as it can assist with improvement on general health and fitness or can help you on the path of losing weight.
A Cardio exercise programme can provide some very noticeable physical improvements, including a reduction in: -
- Percentage body fat
More than that however, regular Cardio exercise will: -
- Increase your overall feeling of wellbeing
- Decrease your stress levels
- Reduce feelings of emotional exhaustion
How much is enough?
According to the World Health Organisation:
“All adults should undertake 150–300 min of moderate-intensity, or 75–150 min of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or some equivalent combination of moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, per week.”
Your Cardio starter for 5
If you think of Cardio exercise as any activity which boosts your heart rate, then the choice of how you can achieve your recommended weekly Cardio workout is pretty extensive.
The exercises below are probably my top 5 because you can do them anywhere and take them anywhere. With the exception of a low cost skipping rope, there’s also no need to buy any equipment or invest in any special clothing to do them. That means no excuses!
- Skipping 15 minutes per day – no fancy moves required, just straight forward rope jumping
- Running on the spot – including a mix of gentle and higher intensity, with rests between
- Jumping Jacks – getting the arms nice and high and the legs off the ground too
- Squat jumps – the deeper the squat, the better the workout so, get down!
- Burpees – 3 to 4 sets of 12 is a good starter, 3 times a day please
As you can see, I’ve not been too prescriptive here with the duration or number of repetitions. The idea is to get the heart pumping and the blood flowing. You’ll know when you’ve gotten out of your comfort zone and when you’re heart rate is significantly higher than its resting state. My advice is to slip these Cardio ‘extras’ into those time slots when the opportunity arises – just remember, if you’re doing them right, you’ll get hot and sweaty so perhaps not just before an important meeting!!
Once you have mastered your Cardio exercise of choice, you can easily ramp it up (to gain even more benefit) by increasing the intensity of your movements, increasing the number of repetitions of each activity, increasing the duration of the workout or tweaking the technique slightly to a higher degree of difficulty.
Perhaps the most important point with any form of Cardio exercise however is to make sure you warm up properly before you start. Not only will this improve your mobility and technique during the workout, but it will also decrease the chance of you causing yourself an injury. Pulled muscles and strained tendons are not fun and can seriously hamper all other parts of your training regime, not to mention your ability to get around.
I am a Personal Trainer who believes that training should be personal and that’s why my clients succeed in achieving their unique fitness goals. Starting with an in-depth discussion of needs and wants, the training plan I put together will be bespoke and the on-going support will allow for real life. If that sounds like the kind of Personal Training you need, then contact me for that initial free consultation today.