Cardio Workouts benefits
Sedentariness, chronic stress, pollution and “dead” or heavy chemicalized foods lead to the premature degradation of the heart and blood vessels but not if you do cardio workouts. They get to break earlier than normal, statistically speaking. By training your heart and your blood vessels by specific exercises (resistance exercises) you can avoid something that can end your life when you should be living it to the fullest. There is a well-known effect of burning calories during this type of workout. Done moderately, cardio workouts help release stress and can lead to rebalancing your hormones and nerves.
“Cardio” comes from “cardiovascular”. The heart pumps blood through the arteries, the blood reaches the cells and then goes back to the heart through veins. These blood vessels have a natural elasticity that contributes to the blood circulation. For various reasons, blood vessels get more rigid as time passes, just like all the tissues in our body degrade until we die. In order to maintain the blood vessels as elastic as possible so they can have a great relationship with the heart, in addition to our diet we have to train this blood system. The lungs also get a good portion of effort and so the picture is complete.
Cardio workouts usually involve long activities (up to several hours), done with a certain intensity, and often done in an aerobic system (the body uses oxygen to get the necessary energy).
The pulse is a good indicator on our cardiovascular condition and on the type of workout that we should choose (intensity and duration). However, there are cases when the heart rate cannot be taken into account.
It is important that the effort be correlated with your level and increased progressively, so your body can adapt without depleting your resources or hurting your joints, bones, muscles, nervous and endocrine systems by working out endlessly, while lacking the adequate food and rest.
Cardio workouts tend to be overdone, as people prefer them over lifting weights.
This way, its benefits are lost and it can lead to joint disease, loss of muscular mass, hormonal imbalances and stopping the fat burning. Cardio workouts must be done as part of a weight loss program, along with other types of workouts, but under no circumstance should they be a single type of physical effort.
Types of cardio workouts
The types of cardio workouts include jogging (outdoors, indoors or on treadmills), cycling (on a real or stationary bike), skipping rope, swimming, aerobic gymnastics, skying, working out on modern machines (elliptical machine, rowing machine), climbing stairs, ball sports etc. Some people enjoy circuit workouts, that offer a really good cardiovascular training.
Unfortunately, some repetitive activities such as walking, sporadic sex, chores, vibromassages (including the famous PowerPlate), electrostimulations and other odd things do not count as “workouts”, and for good reasons: the intensity is low, the duration is short, our body adapts easily to them, not enough energy is consumed, the “workout” effect is not reached and they cannot be performed constantly by following a program.
Cardio workouts and muscular mass
Cardio workouts benefit the muscular mass, even for ectomorphs, who run from this workout because it eats hardly gained muscle. To sustain bodybuilding and muscular mass training sessions, cardio workouts are very useful. Also, in some cases, cardio can help you eat more than you used to, increasing your apetite and finally leading to gaining a few kilograms (hopefully muscles, not fat).
For me, this type of workout was the one that was always avoided, because of low resistance to effort (I did not exercise constantly as a child or in the first part of my teenage years), joints and back pain (which appeared during my childhood) and the fact that they’re sometimes boring.
There is good news, though: cardiovascular condition can be gained easily and can be better kept than muscular mass. If for the muscular mass everything has to be “in order” month after month, year after year, things are different with cardio workouts and mistakes are not as heavy.
However, cardio must be included in your weekly training program along with other methods (lifting weights, stretching, core training).