Cardio Exercise – what is it and why is it important?29 Aug
Cardio exercise is either something you love or you hate – the stereotypes of running on a treadmill for half an hour can either appeal to you or make you head straight for the door! What actually is cardio though, and why do we do it?
What is cardio?
Cardiovascular exercise is anything that raises your heart rate and increases your breathing. You’re probably thinking, but that is all exercise isn’t it? Yes, but cardio exercise challenges your cardio system; it challenges your heart and lungs to work harder than normal.
Examples of exercise that do this are:
- Climbing stairs
Why should you do cardio?
Cardio is great for strengthening your heart; because your heart is a muscle it can grow stronger, just like any other muscle. Regularly doing cardio can really help build your heart’s strength and keep it healthy! This means you can have a healthy heart as you get older, helping prevent health issues.
Cardiovascular exercise can also help to increase metabolism, helping your metabolic rate and helping you to maintain weight. It can also help with recovering from injuries; through working your cardiovascular system you can help push more oxygen around your body benefiting your muscles and helping them to rebuild.
Why should you warm up and cool down with cardio?
Warming up with cardio helps push the blood around your body; this can help reduce muscle soreness and injury which is great for when you are about to start working out. Cooling down helps with gradually slowing down your heart rate; it helps to regulate your blood flow!
Warming up can be as simple as a brisk walk, cycling slowly and building up speed or going for a slow job. Cooling down is quite similar; try a brisk walk or maybe even a casual swim. One easy way to fit a warm up/cool down into your workout is simply by walking or cycling to the gym. Not only do you lower your carbon footprint, but you get your warm up and cool down out of the way!
When you’re next in the gym, why don’t you mix up your warm up and cool down switching between the treadmill, bikes, Stairmaster and maybe even the pool!
What classes are great for cardio?
If you want to increase your cardio but find it boring (let’s face it, you’re not alone), we have so many classes for you to try! For the dancers, Zumba, Brio Dance, Clubbercise and more are all amazing classes that get you moving to the beat while pushing your limits too!
Vibe Cycle takes the normal bike class and switches it up; by infusing it with a disco flavour! For those that just went to get on the bike, our Brio Cycle classes are sure to leave you feeling exhilarated.
You can find out more about what cardio classes we do here; or find out when and where they are here!