What Are Cardio Exercises and How Do You Benefit from Them

Any talk of cardio exercise benefits should start with a clear understanding of what cardio means. Let’s check with the Merriam-Webster dictionary for a definition …

“Any type of exercise that causes the heart to beat faster and harder for a period of time”

That is pretty straightforward. So does this mean that when you get up from your couch or chair and walk outside to check your mail, you are experiencing cardio fitness? Not exactly.

Sure, the act of walking gets your heart beating quicker than it does when you are just sitting. But cardio exercises focus on accelerating your heartbeat rapidly and keeping that heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. These are a few common types of cardio exercises.

Circuit training
Swimming
Outdoor cycling
Jumping rope
Jogging
Playing tennis
Hiking
Zumba
Kickboxing
Playing basketball
Core power yoga
Belly dancing

You can see that a wide variety of activities and fitness practices deliver cardiovascular benefits. The key is sustaining an elevated heart rate for at least 20 minutes without stopping.

Cardio Exercises

Do You Really Need “Cardio” Workouts?

What benefits does cardio exercising offer?

Aside from cardiovascular heart health (that is where the “cardio” comes from), you burn calories, improve your mental functioning and brainwave activity and strengthen your body.

You even make your muscles stronger to some degree. And while cardio workouts are definitely more beneficial than doing nothing at all, if fat burning and becoming stronger are your goals, you can see quicker results and spend less time exercising with strength training.

That is because strength training gets your heart elevated for an extended period of time just like cardio exercises do. But the intense stressing and repairing that your muscles undergo add a fat burning benefit for up to 24 hours that cardio simply cannot match.

This workout consists of 4 different exercises. It is in Tabata style but with a slightly lower level of intensity and will be targeting the whole body for an all-out incredible workout.

The idea here: quick, painful, and truly effective. In just 20 minutes you will put your metabolism into overdrive for the rest of the day, burn tons of calories, tone up the whole body and get you to your ‘fittest you’ !

This cardio workout is basically high intensity interval training (HIIT) based on Tabata protocol. Tabata protocol was created by Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan.

So What Is Tabata? 4 minutes of near max exertion effort which consists of 8 rounds 20 seconds max effort + 10 seconds rest. Those 4 minutes a day are worth the equivalent to more than an hour of normal ‘endurance’ style cardio. It’s now used by professional athletes and many top trainers are saying that it’s possible to shed 7% — 10% body-fat within a month if you do this workout 4 times per week.

The intensity of the Tabata Protocol might be dangerous to anyone with heart disease. So be wise, and get physician clearance before you try this workout. You can still get incredible results with the Tabata Protocol while going at your own safe pace. It will also allow you to do more than just one exercise.

I hope you will enjoy the benefits of this workout

Round 1:Jumping Lunges (8 rounds of 20 second intense effort + 10seconds rest)
1 min rest
Round 2: Knee Push-Ups (8 rounds of 20 second intense effort + 10seconds rest)
1 min rest
Round 3: Mountain Climbers (8 rounds of 20 second intense effort + 10seconds rest)
1 min rest
Round 4: Scissor Crunches (8 rounds of 20 second intense effort + 10seconds rest)