An activity that strengthens the heart and helps to stay healthy Whether in the field of sport (e.g. training) or fitness (weight loss, slimming, keeping fit), it is often referred to as cardio-training. But what exactly is it, why practice it and how? Explanations.
What is cardio-training?
Cardio-training (literally “training the guts ”) may be a fitness activity that uses the heart muscle to coach it for effort and thus strengthen the cardiovascular and cardio-respiratory systems. Running, cycling, swimming, rowing or rowing, stepping or Zumba are all cardio training activities.
For a cardio-training session to be as effective as possible, it’s necessary to regulate the intensity of the trouble produced by the athlete. this is often generally done by measuring the guts rate. The duration of the trouble and therefore the intensity (which are often variable) of the cardio-training session is adjusted consistent with the target to be reached: specific training, fat loss, etc.
It is for these reasons that cardio training is usually practiced indoors, on machines referred to as ergometric machines (i.e. reproducing the movements of a given sport: rowing, running, cycling, etc.) and equipped with a pulse monitor to form this control easier.
Why practice cardio training?
There are lots of good reasons to practice cardio training! First of all, this activity is good for your health, especially for your heart but also for your morale. It also helps to increase your endurance and improve your sports performance, to build up muscles, to lose fat and therefore to lose weight. It helps to stay in shape.
Cardio-training is good for your health
Cardio-training helps to prevent cardiovascular disease. Indeed, it strengthens the heart and promotes the loss of fat, especially visceral fat. It strengthens the arteries and vessels, which can then better dilate or contract as needed, thus reducing the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack.
Practicing cardio-training helps to fight infections and viruses. It also improves coordination and reflexes, thus helping to prevent falls.
Finally, doing cardio-training acts against depression by improving morale and increasing self-esteem. It is also a good way to relax after a busy workday.
Cardio-training helps to lose weight
It has two effects that promote the loss of body fat:
- It increases the muscular mass, which has the effect of increasing the basal metabolism, i.e. the body’s energy expenditure to ensure vital functions. The muscles are indeed greedy in energy. The bigger they are, the more energy they consume, and therefore fat, even at rest!
- It increases the metabolism linked to activity: during your cardio-training session, you consume calories including fat. Moreover, this expenditure does not stop immediately after the effort: the metabolism remains high just afterward and can take several hours to return to its normal level. During this time, the body continues to eliminate fats!
By practicing regular cardio training at moderate intensity, you will lose fat mass and refine your figure (see how to lose fat by training at low intensity). Some studies have also shown that high-intensity split training can be even more effective for fat loss.
Cardio-training improves endurance and performance
Cardio-training is one of the activities that improve sporting endurance, i.e. the ability to maintain an effort of a given intensity over time.
It strengthens the heart muscle and thus develops its capacity to provide the volume of oxygen necessary for the muscles to function (see what VO2max is and how to measure it to evaluate its performance). The more the heart is trained, the higher the intensity of the efforts produced can be. Overall, sports performance shows an improvement.
How to practice cardio-training?
It is an activity that you can practice outdoors (cycling, running, rowing, etc.) or at home or indoors (elliptical bike, treadmill, rowing, home trainer, stepper, etc.).
Sports such as Zumba or spinning®, based on music, are recently born cardio-training activities that are very popular today.
Choose the activity you like and that best suits your goal.
Some activities are more recommended than others to gain a little muscle, lose fat, complete a workout, or recover from intense effort. Rowing, rowing, and elliptical rowing, for example, work a large number of muscles in the body and are therefore excellent for slimming, slimming, and strengthening muscles. They consume a lot of calories.
If your goal is to stay healthy by doing a cardio workout, any activity will do the trick. Choose it according to your desires and means. There’s nothing like a bike ride or jogging to get in shape, for example!
Adjust the intensity and duration according to your objectives.
Your objective will determine the intensity of the effort and its duration. Long work at moderate intensity or split work at high intensity will help to lose fat. High intensity will work the anaerobic threshold or VO2max.
To recover after an effort, it will be necessary to work at low intensity. Adjust the intensity of the effort accordingly and monitor it with a heart rate monitor (cardio GPS watch for example). More information: define training target zones.
Cardio-training: precautions and contraindications
Cardio-training can be practiced by any healthy person provided that certain precautions are taken. For example, avoid intense or brutal efforts if you are not athletic.
Ask your doctor for advice and he will be able to carry out a medical check-up or possibly prescribe you a cardiovascular check-up and an exercise test. Beyond the age of 35 or for inactive people, it is necessary to have a check-up every 5 years.
Cardio-training can be harmful in certain situations (acute infections and diseases, high blood pressure, overweight, heart failure for example).