Tip 6: Perform your cardio as well!

Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, is any movement that gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation throughout the body.

Performing cardio has many great benefits:

  • IMPROVED HEART HEALTH

The first one is an improved condition of your heart. Your heart is a muscle just like any other and in order for it to become strong it must be worked. If you fail to work it, it will weaken over time and this can cause a variety of negative health effects.

  • INCREASED METABOLISM

Another reason to perform cardio is for its effects on the metabolism. Along with speeding up your heart rate, cardiovascular exercise also increases the rate of various other processes in the body, also known as your metabolism.

  • IMPROVED HORMONAL PROFILE

Performing cardiovascular exercise also changes the hormonal profile in your body considerably. It releases 'feel good' hormones that will help ease symptoms of depression and fatigue as well as releasing hormones that decrease the appetite.

  • IMPROVED RECOVERY ABILITY

Certain types of cardio exercise, usually lower, more moderately paced forms, can decrease your recovery time too. If you have just performed a hard session in the gym, hopping on the treadmill for a walk or light jog will help to remove some of the by-products that were created during the lifting session.

So how do you go about performing the different types of cardio to elicit these benefits?

In order to elicit the benefits we must first understand the different heart rate zones and what they relate to, this can then be divided into steady state cardio and HIIT.

heart-rate-zones.gif

So as you can see, the different heart rate zones have different effects on the cardiovascular system. Its important to state that performing low intensity cardio helps lower blood pressure, overall stress levels and ability to oxygenate the body. 

Some Example Training Plans:

Fat Strip 2: 

40 mins at zone 2

20 mins zone 1

V02 Builder: 

30 mins at zone 4

HIIT Starter:

15 seconds zone 5

90 seconds rest x5