Cardio is shortened for a cardiovascular workout. It is also known as aerobic exercise.
Any physical activity that increases the heart rate and respiration for a prolonged period can be considered cardio exercise. These exercises involve the vigorous movement of body muscles demanding extra oxygen. The increasing oxygen demand is provided by increasing the heart’s pumping activity and increasing respiration.
So, the cardio workout is good for your heart and lungs. It also offers all the health benefits of physical exercise.
As a beginner, what do you need to know before starting a cardio workout? This article provides you with good insight into cardio exercise.
Meet your doctor before starting the cardio workout
Undoubtedly, exercise is a key to a healthy lifestyle. Still, sometimes it is essential to discuss with your doctor before beginning any workout programs.
Cardio exercises are strenuous and vigorous physical activities, so an early medical checkup is prudent.
Pre-exercise consultation helps diagnose any health problem that can cause discomfort or injury during exercise.
Suppose you have any long-term health conditions like heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney or joint problems. In that case, you must consult your healthcare provider to see how you can carry out the intended exercise program without aggravating the existing health condition.
Set realistic goals for the outcome of the cardio workout
You might be excited about cardio workouts and believe that you will lose several kgs in days.
But it is good to set realistic goals.
Cardio exercises burn lots of calories, but to stay on track for a longer time, it is suggested to set some realistic goals. For example, if you want to start with a one-hour workout, go for a 30 minutes walk first and gradually increase.
Make a cardio workout plan with easy steps to follow. Start with a simple activity. Don’t be so hard on yourself. All physical activities take time to show results. All you need to do is to stay active and motivated.
Cardio workout schedules need a warm-up and cool-down session
Warm-up is a short activity undertaken before a vigorous exercise like aerobic exercise.
Warm-up sessions prepare the body for aerobic activity. A study on the effect of warm-up before exercise showed increased muscle temperature and blood circulation, contributing to improved performance and decreased risk of injuries.
Warm-up, like stretching, increases joint mobility that significantly prevents bone injuries.
On the other hand, cool-down sessions after a workout allow gradual but faster recovery of muscles, heart rate, and respiration.
Study indicates that performing active cool-downs may partially prevent immune system depression and promote faster recovery of the heart and respiratory system of the body. In addition, cool-downs help muscles return to their optimal length-tension and maximize the next-day performance.
Experts suggest beginning your workout with a 5–10-minute warm-up session and ending with a cool-down session. Watch the video on how to do warm-up and cool-down.
Gradually increase your pace and intensity in cardio exercise
Pace and intensity are the two critical elements of any workout. Working out at the right pace, your body gets stronger and loses weight faster.
But as a beginner, you need to know the right pace and intensity to work out smartly.
For this, start with some light cardio exercise to increase heart rate because going fast and hard can make it worse. Research suggests that gradually increasing exercise intensity until you are in the proper training range is beneficial.
A slow and gradual increase in exercise intensity is an effective way to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiac events.
Track your progress when doing a cardio workout
Tracking your progress is essential because it helps you reach and surpass your fitness goals.
It motivates you to stay on track and set new but bigger goals.
Tracking exercise progress also helps manage your daily activities and allows you to be more efficient in time. It also enables you to figure out your mistakes and change your plans.
Keep changing your routine
Cardio workout is all about consistency, but experts suggest changing the workout routine every 4 to 6 weeks for better results.
This strategy avoids plateau, a stage when the body stops losing weight.
Repeating a workout plan every day makes the muscles adapt to it, affecting performance. In addition, your body gives you clues that it’s time to change the routine.
For example, when you can perform the same exercise in less time or feel bored and can’t see any changes, you need to change the workout.
The constant intensity and varied exercise scheme are more efficient in producing strength gains than the constant intensity and constant exercise scheme.
The Bottom Line
Cardio exercises are vigorous physical activities, so it is essential to have some guidance before performing these workouts as a beginner. Before starting a cardio workout, you should know some practical tips: health checkups, making a simple workout plan, setting some realistic goals, changing the exercise routine, and tracking your progress.