Cardiovascular Fitness

For someone who does not know much about the field of medicine or biology might find these words complex. To break them down Cardio means “heart” and vascular stands for a “system or network of blood vessels”. The cardiovascular system consists of the working of the heart and the flow of blood in our body. To maintain a healthy, functioning heart and a surplus flow of blood cardiovascular health is important, and thus we need cardiovascular fitness exercises.

When we involve major muscles in exercise, the rate of respiration increases producing energy. More the oxygen requirement leads to increased breathing and heart rate. A form of exercise like this is called cardiovascular exercise or cardio.

What does cardiovascular fitness exercise involve?

Cardiovascular fitness exercise is also called aerobic or endurance exercise. Cardiovascular fitness involves any form of activity that includes aerobic metabolism. It includes any vigorous activity that progressively challenges the heart, lungs to endure better.

Benefits of cardiovascular fitness exercise

It has both physical and mental benefits.

  • It helps reduce weight and maintain it with regular exercise.
  • It helps one maintain a proper heart rate and functioning, warding off diseases.
  • Increased metabolism rate.
  • Provides a longer life span by boosting immunity.
  • It helps create a positive aura, thus acting as a mood lifter.
  • Reduces stress, helps sleep better.

Cardiovascular fitness exercise can be of the following types:

  1. High Intensity: An exercise in which both feet are in the air is considered a high impact/intensity. Sounds absurd but while skipping, jumping, and performing aerobics many times both our feet are in the air. Any such exercise falls under this category.
  2. Low Intensity: An exercise in which one foot remains on the ground and the other in the air. Exercises like walking, high knee, butt lifts are common examples.
  3. No Intensity: this includes exercises that are performed in water, like water aerobics. These are low impacts exercise as the gravity in water is less so it’s less straining.

How can one start with Cardiovascular Fitness Exercises?

To start fresh with cardiovascular exercise a routine can be made to decide when you can exercise. In the morning before breakfast and evenings are best for such exercise. You can start slow and simple. A 5 to 15- 30 min pace walking can be a great start. You can increase the time according to convenience. Then you can warm up for like 5 to 10 mins with low-intensity exercises. Followed by conditioning where you perform high-intensity cardio for around 30 mins. Then stretch and relax post-workout.

Exercises that are best to start with are: –

High knees, butt kicks, lateral shuffles, crab walk, oblique crunches, speed skater, jumping jacks, toe taps.

Then to increase intensity one can start with squat jumps, standing alternate toe touch, box jumping, plank jacks, running, jogging.

High-intensity exercise would-be mountain climbers, plank ski hops, rotational jacks, diagonal jumps, burpees, trampoline jumps.

Other common exercises could be: –
Skipping, dancing, organized sports, power walk, swimming, boxing, cycling, hiking, rowing, hula hooping, stairs.

Can all exercises be considered under cardiovascular fitness exercise?
Not all exercises are considered cardio because the heart rate in the first 5 mins should increase.

Safety Considerations while Performing  Exercise

If one is suffering from some kind of chronic or temporary disease then they can avoid these and consult a doctor. Consultation with a doctor should be considered in cases like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, lung infection, undergone surgery recently, chemotherapy.

How to do Cardiovascular Fitness Exercises while at Home?

These exercises are not necessary to be performed in open spaces or gyms. One can start working out at home by jogging by standing in a place, performing squats, stair running, kickboxing, pushups, high jumps, etc.

When it comes to fitness and exercise everyone only talks about the workouts no one talks about the post-workout strain. Initially, when the workout starts do not do all the exercises in one day, it might cause cramps and severe calf pain. Take one step at a time, start initially with 5 times or a few minutes to a particular activity. Then as the body grows stronger increase the time limit. After the first few days or weeks one might feel pain in the muscles and calves but this only indicates that the muscles are strengthening. At this point do not get overwhelmed and leave the routine. The pain may continue for a month or more; it depends on how long the muscles take to strengthen. So be patient and continue the workout.

What can be beneficial along with Cardiovascular Fitness exercise?

Along with this one can start a diet where they can consume a healthy meal including fruits, enough water or juices, vegetables, soup, and nuts.

As a bottom line, Cardiovascular Fitness Exercise is beneficial and increases immunity, but an excess of anything is harmful. Practicing this in times of health issues can lead to a serious condition. Make a motto that motivates you to work. Start slow and move up the game, but don’t give up.

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