Are you frustrated doing exercises and yet not losing weight? Is cardio included in your workout regime? Let me tell you more about it.
What is cardio?
You might have heard this word “cardio” most probably in gyms and by the gym trainers. Cardio is generally a short form for cardiovascular exercises. Any kind of exercise that raises your heart beat is called cardio. Doing cardio helps to burn calories, keeps up your heart rate, improves your metabolism and is genuinely good for muscles.
Our heart is also a muscle and requires regular exercise. Cardio increases the efficiency of heart to pump blood and provide oxygen and nutrients to every part of our body. Cardio exercises are intense and increases your heart rate 50% than normal. By doing so, it keeps your heart healthy. People should perform at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercises every week.
Cardio exercises are also called aerobic exercises. Running, cycling, swimming, brisk walking, dancing, and resistance training are also cardio exercises.
What are the major types of aerobics/cardiovascular exercises?
Cardiovascular exercise is categorized into three types:
High-impact cardiovascular exercises are generally called weight-bearing exercises. Weight-bearing involves keeping your feet off the ground at some moment during the exercise. You support your own body weight with your limbs against the force of gravity. Exercise like high-impact aerobic dance called zumba, jumping ropes, and advanced resistance/strength training.
An exercise in which one of your feet remains on the ground during the whole session. But let me tell you that there is an difference between low-intensity cardio and low-impact cardio, as many low-impact activities is sometimes of high intensity. Low-impact exercises are excellent for improving the strength of bones and conditioning the heart and lungs.
No-Impact cardio are non-weight-bearing exercises usually performed in water. Exercise performed in water like swimming and water aerobics are called no-impact cardio because being submerged in water reduces the pull of gravity over the body. No-Impact cardio exercises are recommended to people who have joint problems, chronic pain, arthritis, and who are recovering from injury.
Important facts about cardio
Cardio exercise improves brain health and can also reduce the risk of dementia. Cardio exercises guards your brain from Alzheimer’s disorder and improves memory and thinking ability.
It protects and strengthens the joints. Cardio exercise slows the rate of osteoporosis, reduces the chance of fractures and maintains the range of motion of joints.
Cardio exercises increase blood circulation and hence succors us to have a clearer and healthier skin.
Including cardio exercise to your regular workout regime helps muscle to adapt the pressure and workload and makes the regular exercise bit easier.
As cardio helps to circulate more blood, it prevents from developing diabetes, certain cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.
When cardio exercise is followed with a healthy nutrition plan, it helps to lose weight and keeps the body active.
Keeping your body active reduces blood sugar levels, keeps the vital organs stress free and reduces the chance of evolving type 2-diabetes.
Cardiovascular exercise aids you to have a good sleep. Individuals who suffer from extreme sleep issue like insomnia, cardiovascular exercises with a sleep hygiene education is a perfect education.
Cardiovascular exercise increases the immunoglobulins that are present in the blood. In lay man’s language, aerobic exercise strengthens the immune system. Aerobic exercise when performed, produces endorphins; a hormone that reduces stress and pain.
Individuals suffering from depression, initially in one or two session of 30 minutes are enough to improve their condition. Cardiovascular exercise helps to reduce asthma. It helps to reduce the frequency and severity of the asthma attacks.
Myths about Cardio
MYTH 1: You should always run before you lift weights. You can get good results by running on treadmill but there is no point in doing so, as you invest all your weightlifting energy by running. But, hey! Best time to do cardio is whenever you feel is the right time. Hitting treadmill for slow jogging or bicycle is a good idea to warm up the body and to get sweating before lifting weights.
MYTH 2: Always perform cardio on a fasted stomach. It’s a myth! I will tell you why doing your cardio with something in your stomach is way better than doing fasted cardio. There are no results of breaking down of triglyceraldyhides into fatty acids for fuel on a fasted cardio. But there are studies that say it is the best way to lose fat.
Second reason says that it is too hard on your body. It is generally done in the morning when you wake up. Many people when they wake up they are in a catabolic state. Generally means that protein is used as fuel rather than fats. To avoid that having protein before cardio can be better.
Since you are already in a catabolic state, feeding the muscles with protein will not cause any harm. It will help you to maintain the muscle protein synthesis during cardio. 10 to 20 grams of protein will be relatively enough before cardio.
MYTH 3: Doing more cardio is better for you. It is a myth because doing lots of cardio may burn your muscles which eventually affect your metabolism. It can weaken your immune system. Doing too much of cardio releases excess cortisol (a stress hormone) that eventually reduces sleep.
Excess breaks down your muscle tissues and can cause chronic diseases. It can interrupt women’s menstrual cycle by disturbing the balance between progesterone and estrogen hormones.
Cardio exercises are best for reducing the chance of developing major health issues. But it will be only beneficial when done in proper guidance. Consult your physician before implementing cardio in your exercise regime. Stop cardio workouts if you feel soreness or lethargy. Listen to your body first and act wisely.