When it comes to weight loss and keeping fit, you cannot do away with cardio workouts because it’s been proven time and again to be effective and truly essential. If you’ve never engaged in these workouts before but are eager to get started, keep the following in mind so you’ll get maximum benefits.
How Do I Get Started with Cardio Exercises?
If this is your first attempt at cardio for weight loss, you need to find a workout program or any activity that will get your heart rate up. There are two basic elements in all cardio: speeding up your heart rate and getting you physically moving.
For starters, be content with brisk walking, riding and bike or playing basketball, and don’t confuse weight lifting with aerobic cardio exercise because your movement is not continuous.
Once your body has grown accustomed to the movements and your fitness level has improved, you can focus on more advanced forms like an intense 30 minute workout, HIIT sprints, tempo training and interval training among others. For optimum results you need to develop a cardio base and work your way up.
Cardio exercises range from 30 to 45 minutes and should be done 3 to 5 times a week. When you reach that level you may increase the intensity. Here are some cardio exercises you can try out.
Cardio Exercise: A Step by Step Guide
If you want to know how to lose body fat just follow the example below. It’s something you can perform with an exercise machine if you have one at home, but it’s also applicable to different types of outdoor activities.
1. Start with a 5 minute warm up and go at an easy to moderate pace
2. After warming up for 5 minutes, increase the speed to a bit more than comfortable levels
3. 30 seconds: work all out
4. 30 seconds: reduce the speed to a comfortable pace
5. 60 seconds: increase resistance / pace so you’re working very hard
6. 60 seconds: reduce pace to a comfortable level
7. 90 seconds: increase pace to very hard and high levels
8. 90 seconds: reduce speed again to a comfortable level
That’s a basic cardio routine, and you can simply repeat that until it reaches 30 to 345 minutes. You also have the option to increase the duration of each segment, but it’s best not to go over 90 seconds if you’re just starting out.
What are the Other Benefits of Cardio Exercises?
Most guys do cardio because they want to know how to burn body fat, but cardio can do more than just burn fat.
Improves Heart Health
Cardio is good for your heart because it’s a muscle that requires to be worked to get stronger. If you don’t work your heart it will get weaker over time and make you more vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases and conditions. By getting your heart pumped up at faster rates than normal, you’ll get in better shape and stay healthy. If you’re getting out of breath simply climbing the stairs and doing simple workouts, it’s a sign your heart isn’t being exercised enough.
Cardio exercises speed up your metabolism and other processes in your body. As your metabolism increases, a process known as EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) takes place, which helps you lose weight faster or maintain your current weight.
What You Need to Know about Cardio Workouts
Improves Hormonal Profile
Cardio also modifies your body’s hormonal profile for the better as it produces feel good hormones that reduce symptoms of depression and stress. Furthermore, regular cardio exercises minimize fatigue and produces hormones that reduce your appetite.
In other words, regular cardio keeps you from going on food binges and at the same time makes you feel better, and all because of the hormones your body produces.
Speeds Up Physical Recovery
Most types of cardio reduce the recovery time required for workouts, and it also reduces your DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness). Furthermore, cardio pumps in more oxygen into your muscle tissues, accelerating the rebuilding and repair process.
Last but not the least, cardio exercises build up muscle mass without overburdening your body and allowing for sufficient recovery. The more you do cardio, the faster your muscles grow and those excess pounds drop.
There’s no shortage of cardio workouts available today, but when it comes to burning fat and building muscles quickly, the following are the best:
There’s a reason why this 60 day workout is called insanity, as it’s aimed at hardcore fitness buffs. You work out in 3 to 5 minute blocks and take just a few seconds to relax before going full speed again. This program is called Max Interval Training because your body will be working at the maximum level throughout.
Body Beast Workout
This is a 90 day workout program that, in just 30 minutes a day, will give you a clean, sculpted physique. Not only is this workout ideal for the busy body, but it also requires very little equipment, only just a few dumbbells in fact. Apart from the workouts, the program also comes with a detailed eating plan for building muscles.
Turbo Fire Workout
This is as intense as the name sounds. It’s a 90 day cardio workout that burns fat and calories in ways that regular workouts cannot match. The system includes a couple of low impact and intense workouts, plus there’s plenty of cool music remixes to keep you moving.
Les Mills Body Combat
If you’re looking for something more than regular workouts, then this martial arts workout will be your cup of tea. Unlike other martial arts programs, this is non-contact yet allows you to burn more than 700 calories. Aside from losing weight you’ll also learn moves from taekwondo, boxing, Muay Thai, Kung Fu and more.
These cardio workouts were all designed for one purpose, and that is to get you in shape, burn fat and build muscles. Some guys will prefer one over the other but really, all four home workout programs deliver insofar as keeping you fit and healthy.