When it comes to fitness, a good balance is key. Too much or too little cardio can limit your fitness goals. Learn how to balance well here.

An estimated 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. Many of these Americans don’t get their desired results from diets because they aren’t paired with a fitness regimen. Everyone is striving for a perfect weight loss journey.

Learning to implement balance into your fitness journey can help improve your results. Keep reading to learn more about how integrating a cardio workout into your routine can improve your overall health.

What Is Cardio?

Cardio workouts are not isolated to spin classes and jogging. Cardio is defined as any workout that raises your heart rate and breathing rate for an extended period of time.

By challenging your cardiovascular system you can clear out carbon dioxide and waste from your system. As your heart is exercised it gets stronger and can reduce the resting stress on your heart.

Cardio fitness programs offer a wide variety of workouts from swimming and running to  HIIT workouts and dance classes. Cardio training can be done at a low to moderate intensity as long as it challenges your heart and lungs.

Cardio Exercises

Any exercises that challenge your cardiovascular system fall into this category of “cardio exercises”. Here are some common cardio fitness workouts to integrate into your workout schedule.

HIIT Workouts

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts routinely alternate between intense bursts of activity and intentional rest periods. Their short-term rest paired with high bursts challenges the body. HIIT workouts are known to help people lose weight efficiently. This is part of the growing popularity of the workout.

HIIT workouts typically only take about 30 minutes. Research has been put into developing these workout plans making them efficient as possible. HIIT workout stimulates the production of human growth hormone which can increase your metabolism and cause you to keep burning fat up to 24 hours after your workout.

Elliptical

The benefit of working on an elliptical as opposed to the outside is that it’s much easier on your joints. The fluid motions and repetition can keep fragile joints working like a well-oiled machine.

In order to receive the maximum cardio benefits on an elliptical machine, it’s best to work out for at least 15 minutes. Typically most people will work out for up to an hour to continue burning calories.

Running

Running and jogging are some of the most popular forms of physical activity. Running is appealing because it doesn’t cost a lot and you can fit it in at nearly any time of the day.

Running is able to help you develop strong bones because it is a weight-bearing exercise. Not only does it help you improve your breathing patterns and cardiovascular fitness but it allows you to strengthen your muscles.

If you’re just starting running it’s recommended that you start at a slower pace or lower intensity in order to protect your joints. Running on a treadmill is an alternative to help make sure that you are taking care of your body as it acclimates to high-intensity workouts.

Swimming

Anyone who is looking to swim as a means of fitness should swim for at least 20-30 minutes at a time. Swimming is a great workout for people of all ages because it helps you maintain your mobility and range of motion. This means that you were actively swimming during this time, not just in the pool.

Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise and it helps you build a lot of upper body strength and leg muscle. Although swimming is a great workout, it is not a weight-bearing one. Water supports up to 90% of the body’s weight so you can easily glide through the water.

Biking

Cycling is a great low-impact workout for your body. By working up to a rigorous cadence on the bike you can elevate your heart rate without putting too much tension on your knees. If you look to cycling as your primary form of cardio, it is recommended to ride for 30-60 minute increments 3-5 days a week.

Stationary bikes are going to help you control your resistance and build a more structured workout. Alternatively, outdoor cycling will help your body by giving you a mix of sprints and hill climbs.

Benefits of Prioritizing Fitness

Running and other cardio-intensive workouts trigger a release of dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters help to reduce anxiety, improve self-esteem and improve overall cognitive functions. Integrating exercise into your routine can help improve your energy levels, mental focus, and overall mood.

Cardio is one of the easiest ways to take control of your health. Over time cardio can strengthen your heart and lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure. Exercise also reduces your risk of developing major health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, cancer, and stroke.

Different Tracks for Cardio

Regularly doing cardio workouts can help you increase your fitness and reduce your health risks. Your preferred workout structure can vary based on your workout goals.

Training for Endurance

Endurance is the ability to withstand hardship or sustain a prolonged workout. Over time, doing cardio can help you build up your tolerance.  Endurance keeps your heart, lunch, and circulatory system healthy.

The best exercises to build your endurance are ones you can do for a prolonged time period. Walking, swimming and Pilates can help you build up your endurance.

Balance Fitness With Well-Managed Diets

If you are working out to achieve your desired body, it matters what you eat as well as how you work out. Simply doing cardio workouts will not cause you to lose weight, you need to pair your workouts with mindful eating.

Focusing too heavily on caloric deficit can be unhealthy. When deciding what to eat, it’s beneficial to look at food as fuel, certain foods are going to be higher quality fuel for your body.

Prioritize Your Health: Add Cardio to Your Routine

Workout training plans and diets should not be universally adopted. Everyone has a different body type and will have different results from diets and fitness plans. Weight loss is attainable to achieve your ideal body, however, you may need a more personalized plan.

When it comes to fitness, maintaining a healthy balance is ideal. Too much or too little cardio can stunt your progress and keep you from meeting your fitness goals. Connect with us to learn how to balance your fitness plans to achieve your health goals.

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