What is cardio? We all know it’s important to being healthy and looking good. So, here is the definition and four different protocols of training. Enjoy!
What is cardio?
It makes you sweat, it makes you breathe heavy. It might even mess up your hair. You can love it or hate it. But the truth is, cardio helps you stay fit and healthy. The word cardio is short for cardiovascular which describes the body`s circulatory system, consisting of the heart and blood vessels. Endurance exercises that strengthen this network can be classified as cardio. So basically, any exercise that raises your heart rate. It uses large muscle movement over a sustained period of time. Here are four different ways how to do cardio.
Ways to do cardio
- Slow-long distance cardio
This form of cardio can be considered as active play. Going for a nice long walk or bike ride is the perfect active play modality to help improve recovery from more demanding workouts. It is a good starting point for those who are de-conditioned and are just starting out.
- Moderate intensity cardio
To optimally improve your overall aerobic base, you need some moderate intensity cardio. Moderate intensity means that you are moving at a pace where you will be increasing your heart rate significantly, breaking a good sweat, and maybe be able to talk to your friend rowing or running next to you. You can use many modalities, such as running, biking, swimming, and stair climbing. This kind of cardio helps you recover faster between workouts, between sets of high intensity exercise, and even reps.
- Metabolic conditioning
The term metabolic conditioning, or “met-con”, has been thrown around a lot in the fitness industry in recent years, due to the rise of popularity of Crossfit. It can be confusing to understand what it exactly means. But the definition is simple. It is a short period of hard work with very minimal rest, while using large muscle groups with each movement. It imposes a metabolic demand that challenges the body both mentally and physically. It can include a variety of modalities, such as interval training, kettlebell, barbell and dumbbell complexes, battling ropes, body weight exercise, plyos, and a combination of all of them.
Metabolic conditioning refers to conditioning exercises intended to increase the storage and delivery of energy for any activity. Most people think of aerobic training to be the primary catalyst when trying to improve endurance, conditioning the cardiovascular system, and to improve transport of blood to the working muscles. Concurrently, metabolic conditioning is conditioning the muscles to better use the fuel delivered to them by improving the efficiency for the different metabolic pathways.
- Interval training
It is a method of conditioning that uses alternating periods of work and rest and can be done by using various modalities such as an Airdynbike, treadmill, sprinting, Concept 2 Rower, and stepmill. A simple method is sprinting for 30 seconds, and then taking a 30-90 second rest break. Rest and number of intervals depends on the goal, and fitness level of the person.
Interval training has taken on a new name in recent years – High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This type of training is not only being used by athletes to improve conditioning, but also by trainers and their clients as one of the best methods for fat loss and conditioning.
There are many ways to do cardio. Which one you chose depends on your training goals and personal preferences. Nevertheless, have some fun and enjoy staying fit!