What Is Cardio?
When reading health and fitness articles it’s often assumed that everyone understands the abbreviated term: cardio.
So, for those who might get lost in fitness lingo, let’s address the question: what is cardio? Cardio is used to in place of the term cardiovascular endurance. Okay, what is cardiovascular endurance? Cardiovascular endurance is the body’s ability to continuously provide cells with oxygen during work for an extended period of time.
So Then What Is Cardiovascular Exercise?
This type of exercise is referred to as aerobic exercise, meaning “with air”. It means that the energy produced by the body to do the work uses an oxygen system. As we use this system by performing aerobic activities we train it to be more efficient, and as the body becomes more efficient it increases its capacity to bring in, transport, and use oxygen to produce energy to do work. Also, performing aerobic exercise improves the heart, lungs, muscles, and circulatory and endocrine systems!
Some examples of aerobic activities are swimming, biking, walking, jogging, or basketball. Exercises that are not improving your cardiovascular endurance are all-out effort for short duration activities such as sprints or weight training. These activities are anaerobic meaning “without air” and they don’t use oxygen to produce energy. Because they don’t use oxygen you cannot sustain these activities for an extended period of time.
If you are sedentary and are just beginning a physical fitness program you should engage in aerobic activities to achieve overall fitness benefits. Hopefully now you understand the basics of cardio exercises – what it is and why you should include it in your workout regimen.