Cardio – Why do we do it? And what are the benefits?

Cardio; the staple of fitness programs, whenever you start off in a gym you often begin with it. It’s simple to perform, easy to understand and you know you’ve worked hard when you start sweating! However even though it’s simple, people often don’t fully understand the benefits they are getting out of it. This week in the WitFit Personal Training Monash blog we will delve into cardiovascular training, from top to bottom, benefits, types of training, examples etc. All this will hopefully help motivate you to either keep smashing your cardio routine, or even start on the track to training.

Firstly; what is cardio training? WitFit personal training Monash

Cardiovascular training is any exercise that raises your heart rate. The reason it is called cardiovascular training is that it tests our cardiovascular system. Makes sense right? Our cardiovascular (CV) system incorporates our heart, lungs, circulatory system (arteries/veins) that transport blood/nutrients to and from the heart/muscles. When we exercise, our body requires additional oxygen; this is done via the CV system. The greater the demand for oxygen, the great demand on the CV system. This is why our heart rate raises (to pump extra blood around) our breathing rate increases (get more O2 in/CO2 out) etc. These are all normal responses to cardiovascular training. So when you’re running next, and start to feel your heart rate rising, you’ll know exactly why it is doing that!

Benefits of cardio training:

Improves your heart health!

  • Your heart is a muscle, and like muscles it needs to be worked to become strong. Just as we lift weights to get bigger muscles, the same happens with cardio training. We need to make sure our heart is working, as if we don’t, over time that heart muscle can weaken. This is bad for overall health!

Improves cardiovascular fitness:

  • The more we exercise, the better capacity our body has at utilising oxygen. Our hearts ability to send blood (carrying the oxygen) to the muscles is improved. This is achieved by our heart not having to beat as fast to deliver the blood to the muscles. It becomes more efficient. This is why we as we get fitter, our heart rate is less than it was before at similar intensities.

Increases weight loss:

  • By doing cardio, we burn more energy (calories). The harder the intensity we work at, the greater the burn! For those trying to lose weight, diet is always the main factor, however for the exercise side, cardio is the gold standard.

Improved bone health:

  • Activities that are weight bearing improve our bone health! These include cardio activities such as running, jumping etc. These activities place stress on our bones (a good thing!), helping improve their health, which is important as we all age.

How much cardio should I be doing?

It is recommended by the Physical Activity guidelines, that adults aged 18-64 year of age, complete 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75-150 mins of vigorous physical activity a week. Therefore if we aim for 20-30mins of cardio per day over a week or 45 mins for 5 days a week, we are hitting those goals!

The important aspect is, that cardio doesn’t have to be your stock stand 20-30 mins continual on the treadmill. Running till you bore your brains out! No way, cardio can be fun, exciting, it can be changed up everyday to keep you on your toes. See the sneak peak video below, to see how WitFit Personal Training Monash can help get you excited about cardio!

 

 

So there we go, some information on cardio and the benefits it has! As always, check out our FaceBook page to find out more about cardio and how you can start incorporating it in your workouts today ! If you have any questions about it, or need help come in and ask us at WitFit Personal Training Monash! We are more than happy to help!

The WitFit Team.

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