Almost everyone is aware of the term ‘cardio workouts’, but some don’t know what these mean. Moreover, one should be aware of the reason for them to be known as cardiovascular exercises. All know that ‘cardio’ is a term that is associated with the heart. Thus, cardiovascular exercises are those exercises which demand the heart to work fast at a consistent pace. To this end, cardio workouts usually are such exercises, which involve the movement of the largest muscles in our body. The largest muscles in the body are the most difficult to move and hence, exercise the heart much more. When one moves, these body parts move faster and it puts pressure on the heart to cope with the demand of blood and oxygen in those parts of the body. Hence, they are known as ‘cardio’ exercises.
At some point of time, one has obviously run a little, played some sport, bicycled around, hiked up a hill, etc., and thus may not be called a beginner. However, if one has actually never done a little jig with their hands and legs ever, these exercises might prove useful to tone up their bodies.
Treadmill: For the beginners, there is no better aerobic exercise than the treadmill. The good thing about the treadmill is that it keeps one walking, till the end of the specified time period. Beginners can try walking at the speed of 5-6 km/hr (3-4 mph) for about 15 minutes. Once one starts feeling comfortable with this routine, he/she can increase the heart’s work rate, by increasing the time to 25 minutes or increasing the incline on the treadmill. After around 3-4 months, and when comfortable with walking on a treadmill, he/she can increase the speed to 9-10 km/hr and do some light jogging.
Cycling: An exercise bike is another great form of cardio exercise. An exercise bike is the perfect solution, if one does not know how to ride a bike, as it is self-balanced. An exercise bike has different difficulty levels, once one feels comfortable with the current level, he/she can hitch it up higher. One can start this workout for 10-15 minutes daily, at the lowest difficulty level. And then he/she can increase the time and difficulty level according to his/her progress.
Cross-Trainer: In the cross-train machine, one can use both their hands and legs in the motion. This machine can probably help one burn a lot more calories than the others, if he/she works up a good enough speed. People find working out on a cross-trainer quite tough, as it is a motion that people aren’t used to, but it can be fun once a person gets used to it. The cross-trainer requires a lot more energy and hence, as a beginner, it should be done for lesser time. One can do this exercise for about 10 minutes on a zero incline and zero resistance, and then go on increasing the difficulty level, as and when one starts feeling comfortable with it.
Other Cardio Workouts: One of the workouts that people somehow always never consider is dancing. Dancing is undoubtedly, the most fun way of burning calories there is. You learn some new moves and it never gets monotonous. Hence, one can dance their way to a healthy heart and body. Other exercises include swimming, i.e. if one knows how to do it. Swimming again burns a lot of calories, as the water provides a lot more resistance. Another good cardio workout that one can find in sports, which is fun, demanding, and involves teamwork, is a game of soccer.
Cardio workouts are meant for the heart and are also a good warm-up for the rest of the exercise routines. Following these exercises on a daily basis, might prove beneficial for one’s overall health and fitness.