Cardio exercises elevate the heart rate and keep it elevated for sustained periods of time. Though many people turn to cardio in an attempt to lose weight, its true benefit is in increased heart capacity and endurance - which, in turn, elevates fitness levels and staves off some medical conditions.
Benefits and Information
Cardiovascular exercise gets your heart pumping and comes with myriad health benefits, especially when done on a regular basis. Cardio is important for people of all ages. Those who are cardiovascularly fit can expect a healthier lifestyle than those who live a sedentary lifestyle. And while many people like to combine cardio with strength training to derive the most benefits in the shortest amount of time, the truth is that cardio alone has numerous health benefits.
Cardio doesn't have to be complicated, and you don't have to set foot into a gym in order to get in a good cardio workout. Home workouts can be just as effective as workouts on gym equipment like treadmills and elliptical trainers. Going out for a jog can be a refreshing experience, even if you're a beginner. Something as simple as jumping rope can certainly get your heart pumping and scorch calories.
Many people find they enjoy cardio more when it's not a solo activity. Group fitness classes like step aerobics or dance fitness classes like Zumba turn cardio workouts into social events that command priority on your weekly schedule. Finding a cardio workout you enjoy (and look forward to) will help compel your fitness forward and keep you moving. For some people, that means an aggressive workout like cardio kickboxing or an indoor cycling class, complete with pumping music and an enthusiastic instructor.
Safety in Cardio
Over-training can lead to problems, and exercisers who refuse to recover and push through pain will find themselves injured and needing to modify their workouts greatly. It's important to push yourself but not too far - know your limitations and don't do something potentially dangerous just because you see someone else do it. Listen to your body and stay hydrated throughout your cardio sessions.
Pump Up Your Cardio Fitness
With the many benefits to your health that cardio can bring, you may find that following a cardio fitness plan can be incredibly beneficial. Move every day, whether that means a nice bike ride or a challenging group fitness class that leaves you sweaty and exhausted.