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What are Cardio Exercises: the Basics

Cardio exercises are types of exercises that work out your cardiovascular system and strengthen your heart and lungs. Cardio can refer to a wide range of exercises, but it’s basically any type of activity that keeps your heart rate up and gets your blood flowing. Cardio workouts are a great way to burn calories and fat resulting in higher levels of weight loss than lower impact workouts.

The Difference between Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise, or cardio, uses oxygen to fuel the body while anaerobic exercise uses stored glycogen. Anaerobic exercises are generally shorter and more intense with longer rest periods in between each set, such as weight lifting. Weight lifting can be made into a cardio workout if you choose to use lighter weights with more reps and take little or no break in between sets to keep your heart rate up.

Steady State Cardio Exercises versus Interval Training

When you hear people referring to steady state workouts and interval training, they’re talking about the amount of rest you’re taking during your workout. Steady state cardio exercises involve a warm up, a cardio activity that is maintained for a longer period of time at a moderate level, and a cool down. Your workout can be anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, but the goal is maintain your target heart rate.

Interval training, on the other hand, is a burst of exertion for a set amount of time, say 30 seconds, followed by an active rest interval, perhaps 15 seconds. Your exercise to rest ratio may vary and your intensity levels should be increased with longer rest periods. Both are effective cardio techniques and your routine will depend on preference and personal results.

Popular Cardio Exercises You Don’t Have To Pay For

Some of the most popular and effective cardio exercises can be done with no gym membership and no expensive workout equipment. Since the main goal is to get your heart rate up and keep it above a certain level, you can get a great cardio workout almost anywhere. Whether you choose to go for a jog, bike ride, swim, or hike, keep your exertion level up and you’ll be burning more fat and calories than ever.

Regardless of what your own personal health and fitness goals are, cardio exercises are a fantastic way to keep your body healthy and your cardiovascular system functioning properly. Whether you choose to go for a brisk walk a few times a week or run hard every second day, cardio is an excellent way to feel great and keep your figure looking its best.

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