Uncategorized The Benefits of Regular Cardio Training

Cardio training is a key part of any workout routine, but many people have a love or hate opinion about it. Some people dislike it so much that their hearts are beating faster from only reading the word “cardio”.  We all make excuses and justify why we skip our daily workout, but skipping daily activity can negatively impact our health.

Treadmill Running

Coach Allison on the treadmill

Love it or hate it, daily activity is essential to staying healthy, and that involves performing cardiovascular training.

The CDC recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity a day in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Shockingly, less than 50% of Americans meet the CDC’s minimum guidelines for a healthy lifestyle2. Daily activity at a moderate intensity can3:
  • Decrease risk of heart attack by up to 50%
  • Improve mental health and mood
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Decrease body fat
  • Improve the strength of bones and ligaments
  • Reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Decreased blood pressure

Breaking up the moderate activity into three 10-minute periods is as beneficial as performing 30 minutes, the key is to get your heart rate high enough to break a sweat, but still being able to talk on the phone or to your workout buddy.

Examples of moderate activities include:

  • Fast-paced walking or walking your dog
  • Riding a bike on a level surface (watch out for cabs and pedestrians!)
  • Water aerobics
  • Dancing
  • Playing non-competitive sports

Training for most fitness or performance goals is at a higher intensity than the CDC’s recommendations, resulting in an increase of the health benefits.

Cardio training is not a cookie-cutter exercise that can be applied to everyone at the same length and intensity. Cardio effects vary from person to person based on their age, gender, and current activity level. Once you start cardio training, the body will adapt to the stress, making cardio easier to perform because the heart becomes more efficient in delivering nutrients to muscles. This is when most people start to hate cardio because the results were fast and visible in the beginning, but now they are stuck in a cardio rut. To prevent this, it is important to change up the type of cardio, duration, or speed so your body will take longer to adapt.

When starting a new cardio routine, it is recommended to allow for longer warm-up and cool-down times to prevent muscular soreness and injury.

Consult with your doctor prior to starting a new workout routine, especially if you are pregnant, have a heart condition, taking prescribed, or returning from an injury.  

Next article I am going to address the elusive “Fat Burning Zone”. Until then, post any questions about cardio training on my IG or tag your favorite cardio buddy that keeps you motivated!

Allison Schmitt, CPT, PTA

Attainable Health And Fitness
  1. FastStats. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2016. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/exercise.htm. Accessed April 14, 2016.
  2.  Physical Activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2016. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm. Accessed April 17, 2016.
  3. How much physical activity do adults need? | Physical Activity | CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2016. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm. Accessed April 19, 2016.

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