Cardiovascular is derived from two words, "cardio" which refers to the heart and vascular which refers to the "blood vessels". Cardiovascular exercise improves endurance and stamina by raising your heart rate and keeping it elevated for any given period of time (preferably 30 minutes or more). Generally cardiovascular exercise is associated with exercises like brisk walking, swimming, cycling, jogging and stair climbing where there is a consistent flow with no breaks in the routine. There are many types of exercises that improve your cardiovascular system so it is important that you try to engage in a number of these exercises instead of just one.
Bottom line: You need cardio if you want to get your weight under control and have an overall healthy life.
• Improves oxygen uptake and utilization by helping your lungs, heart and blood circulation with the delivery of oxygen to all the
cells in your body; without oxygen you would literally die.
• Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the lungs and increases your lung capacity, improving your breathing.• Improves stamina
during physical activity. Your lungs and your heart carry oxygen to the large muscle group responsible for carrying out physical
• Strengthens your heart so that it does not have to work as hard to pump blood around the body.It boosts the metabolism, burns
calories, and helps you lose weight.
• It helps reduce stress and promotes restful sleep• It helps reduce risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and
• It makes you feel good.
How Do You Start
• First you need to decide what kind of activities interest you the most and something you could incorporate into your daily life. If you
are someone who likes to run or cycle, taking a walk or hiking then you like the outdoors and these activities would be perfect for
you. For those who prefer to exercise at home then exercise videos would be a great option and of course having a few home
equipment wouldn't hurt. If you would rather going to the gym then a treadmill, stair-master, a stationary bike or elliptical may be
right for you.
• It is difficult to recommend a specific cardio exercise because there is no best option, what is important is the fact that you are able
to get your heart rate up and that you are enjoying it.
• Do something that takes on your personality. If you are a very sociable person then consider fitness programs that are group
oriented. Carry a friend with you when you go working or go as a group.
• Choose something that you can imagine yourself doing at least 3 times a week.
• Be open to change, make your routine dynamic once you are comfortable with the progress you are making.How Much Time Should
You Spend?It is easy to get side tracked, when you decide what to do, by trying to keep up with the instructor (if you are at a gym)
or jogging too fast if you choose the outdoors. If you are a beginner then 30 minutes should be good, but don't stress yourself even if
you start with 10-15 minutes its ok to work your way up. The key thing here is consistency.
Most persons would tell you that the ideal thing is to work out 3-6 days per week for at least 30 minutes. However if your lifestyle cannot accommodate this then try:
1. Walking up the stairs a few times while at work
2. Go for a walk during your lunch break
3. Park a good distance from where you are going and walk to your destination
4. Take public transportation and stop off a few blocks from where you are going and walk
5. We are all given the same amount of time; the fact is that only some of us use it wisely. You will have to find the time to work out.
6. Take some exercise classes
7. Find someone strong to hold you accountable and keep you on track
8. Get a personal Trainer if you can afford one.
9. Split up your routine if you are pressed for time. Maybe do your abdominal work in the evening instead of in the morning.
10. Go for a brisk 30-minute walk five times each week. Ideally, it should be done in one session. If you can't, two 15-minute sessions would also be good.
11. Join a martial arts, swimming or tennis club.
12. It is better to do a little bit often then a lot infrequently.Make sure you are resting between workouts so that your body can recover. As good as exercise is for you, too much can actually be bad for you.
Here are some guidelines to help you with the frequency of the workout
To maintain current fitness level: 2-4 days a week (at least 20 minutes)
To lose weight: 4 or more days a week (at least 30 minutes)
To train for a triathlon: A whole lot
Once you've gotten used to exercise (and are up to 30 minutes of continuous movement) you can start working on your intensity.
How hard you work is a crucial factor in your workout because:
• The harder you work the more calories you burn
• Raising intensity is the best way to burn more calories when you're short on time.
• It's an easy part of your workout to change--all you do is work harder
Remember the rule of thumb is that you should be able to talk during your workout. If you cannot speak comfortably, then you need to check your heart rate or slow down.