Is Cardio High on Your List of Priorities?
For many people, cardio is not high on their list of priorities and is usually seen as a way to regulate body weight. Truth be told, cardio provides so many more benefits to your body than just burning calories.
Benefits of Regular Cardio Training
Some benefits of doing regular cardio training include an increased aerobic capacity, an increase in capillary density, a decreased sympathetic nervous system at rest (a part of the nervous system that serves to accelerate the heart rate, constrict blood vessels, and raise blood pressure), a decreased risk of heart disease, and an improved mood and sense of well being.
Keep in mind that your heart is a muscle, and like other muscles in your body, for it to become stronger and work more efficiently, you need to train it. To be the bearer of bad news, training your heart does require you to do cardio. The type of cardio required to do so can simply be aerobic steady state training, or even aerobic training with some aerobic intervals. This means working at a comfortable pace for a set time, then increasing your pace for a set, but shorter time. For example, walk at brisk pace for 2 minutes followed by a jog for 1 minute and then repeat 3-6 times. Whatever option you choose, make sure it matches your current health status, and you are realistic with your own expectations.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
A benefit of doing aerobic intervals on a regular basis is the ability to enhance and sustain higher intensities of exercise for longer periods of time. In fact, there is a way of doing interval training that gets you fitter in a shorter period of time. It’s called high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It involves short, 30-second intense bursts of exercise followed by short 30-second recovery periods. To get fit and strong at the same time, many HIIT formats combine cardio exercises with resistance ones like push-ups and squats to maximize your training efforts.
Some benefits of combining cardio and resistance interval training include a decrease in recovery time between sets, improved blood flow to working muscles and improved recovery between workout sessions.
So, why does my trainer have me doing cardio?
So, why does my personal trainer have me doing cardio? Because she cares about my heart health and wants to see me make progress with all my fitness goals. So, the next time you step on the treadmill at the gym, remember what good you are doing for your body and your heart.