Cardiovascular exercise, or cardio, is essential when it comes to your health. It increases your heart rate, delivering oxygenated blood to your lungs and muscles. Your heart and muscles communicate constantly, and cardio helps them work together better. Increasing fitness through cardio exercise helps the body move oxygen into muscles more efficiently.
Integrating cardio into your healthy lifestyle has multiple health benefits, including increased endurance, better immune system function, fat loss, improved focus, a stronger heart and even a longer life. It can also potentially lower your blood pressure and your risk of type 2 diabetes, which often leads to heart disease. Adding cardio to your current exercise routine could increase the overall effectiveness of your workout regimen.
So what are some good ways to get your blood pumping? Try the following cardio exercises and aim to get in 30 minutes of cardio a day, five days a week:
Interval training requires you to alternate between highly intense and moderately intense bursts of activity. For example, you could intersperse quick sprints into your brisk walk. Short bursts of activity make your heart work harder and pump more blood, which strengthens your whole cardiovascular system. What’s more, interval training can increase the heart-protecting benefits of your cardio exercise, even if you work out for less time.
Jumping jacks work out your entire body and increase your heart rate. Do four 60-second sets of jumping jacks to get your heart going.
Step-ups increase your heart rate while engaging your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves and core muscles. Stand in front of a level step and step onto it with your right foot, with your left foot following. Then step back down. Alternate your starting foot each time. Do four two-minute sets.
Burpees work out your entire body, including your heart. Go from a standing position into a push-up position by kicking both feet out from under you and placing your hands on the floor. Perform a push-up, and then jump back into a standing position, finishing with a simultaneous jump and clap above your head. Do four sets of 12 burpees.
High-knees are great for lower body stimulation. Alternate pumping your knees up to hip level for four sets of 60 seconds.
Talk to a primary healthcare provider to learn more about which cardiovascular exercise is appropriate for you.
Posted: 4/20/2016 by
Filed under: heart and vascular