This week we’re discussing the benefits of cardio exercise on the body. Cardiovascular exercise, also known as aerobic exercise is essentially exercise that uses oxygen. Walking, running, swimming, hula hooping, dancing, HIIT or Bootcamp sessions are all examples of cardio exercise.
Cardio exercise is a great way to lose weight and to increase endurance and stamina. It’s fair to say that in a 45 minute aerobic workout you’ll burn more calories than you would in a 45 minute strength training session, however the continual burning of calories after the exercise (post exercise oxygen consumption) lasts longer in a resistance workout. That said, cardio exercise is essential for the health of the cardio vascular system. When you perform an exercise that raises the heart rate , it makes the heart work faster to pump the blood round the body, building and strengthening the muscle. It is also known to improve lung capacity, lower blood pressure, reduce the systems of asthma, strengthen the immune system, reduce blood sugar levels and helps with sleep quality.
Have you ever experienced a ‘runner’s high’? Although labelled ‘runner’s high’, it’s not necessarily from running. By taking part in cardio exercise we are left at the end of the session feeling full of energy and ready to take on the world! I often find that if I had a bad nights’ sleep and haven’t woken up refreshed, by going for a run or similar activity, gives me the energy to tackle my day.
How much should cardio exercise should I get? It is recommended that as an adult we take part in at least 150 minutes of exercise that raises our heart rate every week. This doesn’t necessarily mean a specific workout, it includes activities such as cleaning, walking the dog, pushing a buggy or gardening. To build muscle as well as improve cardiovascular health you can combine resistance training with an aerobic workout. Here’s an exercise session for you to try that does exactly that. https://vimeo.com/510582206/3db71ad9c2. If you need help getting started with an exercise plan, why don’t you sign up to the FITMumPlan? Receive your first 7 days free and enjoy the benefits of a variety of different weekly workouts, recipes and tips. FITMum Plan | Emma Wheeler Fitness
If you enjoyed this article, read last weeks’ blob about strength training here: The Importance of Strength or Body Weight Training | Emma Wheeler Fitness