At the beginning of the year, many of those who seek to improve their fitness are likely to hear the word cardio. It is a common phrase that refers to cardiovascular exercise or fitness, which is any activity that stimulates the heart. Most often, cardiovascular exercise involves repeated movements, such as the steps of a runner’s stride, that serve to raise the heart rate. Cardio is a common phrase because of the great many benefits cardiovascular fitness can have on a physical body and an individual’s quality of life.
Most commonly, those who endeavor to pursue cardio, do so because they wish to lose weight. There are, however, a number of reasons why someone might wish to begin improving their cardio fitness, including enhancing their mood, increasing stamina, and even seeking to help their sleep hygiene. If you’d like to begin enhancing and improving your own cardio fitness, then we have seven great ways that you can begin.
Before you begin heading to the gym, it might be helpful to begin walking first. Many can substantially improve their cardiovascular fitness simply by incorporating a greater deal of walking into their daily routine, especially if it replaces prolonged periods of stillness. Consider adding a walk to your daily routine to begin seeing improvements, whether as part of your commute or as a way of spending more time outdoors.
Another simple way to improve cardio is to swap a regular drive for a cycle instead. Cycling is a great and accessible way to improve one’s fitness, while also saving money on travel, with a low-impact workout that can protect individuals from mental ill-health and weight gain.
The most accessible, affordable, and popular form of cardio, running is an essential way to enhance one’s fitness. Some will enjoy regular jogs around their local park, finding it gives them a much-needed boost during the day, whereas others will want to run for longer, using their exercise as a way to explore or even challenge themselves to go further, faster.
Whether you choose to dip into a local swimming pool or venture into the sea, swimming is a brilliantly effective low-impact cardiovascular exercise that can be enjoyed for little to no cost. Additionally, there are a number of ways to swim, with different strokes offering benefits to different areas of the body.
Those who have spent time within the gym are likely to have seen advertisements for dance classes, and for good reason! Dancing is an excellent form of cardio, being both a full-body workout and plenty of fun.
Those looking to incorporate an effective cardio routine into their bodyweight fitness routine at home will likely enjoy jump rope. This exercise can be performed at home and offers a substantial cardiovascular workout too.
Any form of rowing is a great form of cardio, requiring repetitive motion to propel individuals across the water. It is a much higher impact than most forms, especially if practicing out on the water and not on a rowing machine, so be ready for a full workout too.