What is Cardio
For most people, cardio exercises bring out images of sweat sessions on the treadmill or running up a hill. But the truth is it’s more than that. Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise is also known as aerobic exercise. It is characterized by three things:
1. It uses a large group of muscles to perform tasks
2. It requires respiration or controlled breathing
3. It increases your heart rate while keeping it in an aerobic zone for a set period
There are many forms of cardio and some are more intense than others. This includes walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and fitness classes. Cardio machines may include a rower, elliptical, stair climber, upright or recumbent bike, and treadmill.
Cardio can be classified into three:
- High impact activities: High impact exercises such as those that involve running or jumping will often burn more calories than lower-impact activities such as walking, but your workout doesn't even need to consist entirely of high impact moves. You can add a few to your current workout and you'll burn more calories.
- Impact activities: Exercises that involve some impact, like walking, will usually boost your heart rate faster than non-impact activities like swimming or cycling.
- Whole-body activities: Cardio routines that engage both the upper and lower body, such as cross-country skiing, can boost your heart rate and burn more calories. You can also do this with compound strength exercises, which provide the benefits of cardio while building strength and endurance.