Cardiovascular System (heart, blood and blood vessels)
Posted May 21 2008 9:09pm
What is this cardio that everyone keeps talking about ? How can it benefit me ? Do I even need to do cardio ?
Cardio pertains to your cardiovascular system which is your heart, blood and blood vessels. A healthy cardiovascular system transports oxygen and nutrients throughout your body while picking up waste/toxins metabolized from food.
Cardio is best thought of as daily maintenance for the body. It keeps you in a high metabolic state and helps to reduce excess fat. If your body does not use what you eat for energy or break it down for cellular growth or function, food will be stored as fat which will collect in cells around the body.
Cardio in the morning will prepare you for digesting food throughout the day and is a better way to wake up rather than drinking coffee. Make sure not to do cardio on an empty stomach. Eat something light and healthy like some fruits before beginning any cardio session. It is also not advised to do cardio before weight training as you will exhaust your bodies energy supply. You can break up your cardio into sessions and still reap the same benefits. You can jog for 1 hour or split your time in half 30 minutes 2 times a day. The end result will be the same.
Intense workouts may leave you sore. It is a mistake to stay sedentary when experiencing muscle soreness. A faster way to recuperate is to transport much needed nutrients to the sore areas of the body. Eating a solid diet and circulating blood through out your system results in organ and tissue repair thus making cardio a recovery component.
Your heart is a muscle that needs exercising. The more active you teach your body to become, the faster your heart will beat. The faster your heart beats for an extended period of time the bigger and stronger it will get. Cardio is a good way to strengthen your heart and reduce high blood pressure.
Finally, many people make the mistake of doing cardio without any weight bearing exercises. This will not be enough for a person to maintain or reach optimal health. Cardio is used for maintenance and recovery, it is not and should not be the foundation of any fitness regime.