Cardiovascular exercises refer to any movements that increase your heart rate as well as enhance blood circulation. These exercises are great at helping you burn calories and lose weight. However, regular cardio exercises have many more health benefits apart from just fat loss.
Health benefits of cardio workouts
1. Enhanced heart health
Cardio workouts improve your heart’s condition. Just like any other muscle, the heart needs to be worked for it to be strong. If you don’t work your heart, it will eventually weaken, leading to a number of health problems. By regularly getting your heart to beat at a faster rater, you will keep healthy and in shape.
2. Enhanced recovery ability
Some types of cardio workouts, such as more moderately paced types, may reduce your recovery time. After performing a hard session of weightlifting, a light jog or a walk on the treadmill helps you remove some of the byproducts created during the gym session. This helps in reducing soreness as well as enhancing the rebuilding and repair process by bringing more oxygen-rich blood to your muscle tissues.
3. Improved metabolism
Apart from speeding up the heart rate, cardio helps in improving the rate of different other body processes, for example metabolism. The more intense the session, the more evident improvement you will notice in your metabolic rate.
4. Improved hormonal profile
Doing cardiovascular exercises helps change your hormonal profile considerably. It releases hormones that help to ease symptoms of fatigue and depression. It also helps to release hormones that assist in decreasing appetite. Individuals who regularly participate in cardiovascular exercises, usually have a more positive life outlook because they are receiving stress-relieving benefits. Despite these and many more benefits of cardio workouts, sometimes, it is really difficult to get out and exercise, especially if you are a stay-at-home woman or during winter because it can be cold or rainy.
Some of the great cardio workouts are the ones that get your heart rate up as well as your body sweating. Yet, a number of the workouts are free and may be done at home. The following are two great cardio workout programs that you can perform at home for your overall wellness.
High Intensity Interval Training
(HIIT)HIIT has become a well-liked way of burning fat and enhancing overall health because it has been successful for a number of people. HIIT refers to a training idea whereby high intensity intervals, such as lunges, speed skaters and sprints are alternated with lower intensity intervals. In between, there are short moments of rest. HIIT is considered a much more effective workout than the normal cardio due to its higher intensity as well as its ability to enhance the exerciser’s both aerobic and anaerobic endurance. It is also very effective at burning more fat than any other cardio exercise.
Research has shown that HIIT, compared to low-intensity exercises, is up to 50% more efficient in burning adipose tissue. HIIT has also been shown to improve metabolism, thereby helping you to burn more calories all through the day. Before you begin any HIIT exercise, begin with a two-minute warm-up to help get the muscles ready to set off. For 30 seconds, march or jog in place before standing tall and circling your arms backwards, in turns, for another 30 seconds. Then perform a side lunge, front lunge and back lunge while stepping using the same leg before switching to the other leg and repeating. Do this for a minute before doing the HIIT exercise.
For example, you can do this 10-minute HIIT workout that does not require any equipment. The workout will involve 4 exercises each taking 20 seconds and 10 seconds of rest between three rounds of exercising. Begin by standing with your left foot behind the right and your hips facing the left side. Bringing your arms into a boxing position, punch forward with your right arm before throwing cross punch using your left arm. While the left arm crosses the body over to the right side, let your body rotate. As your back heel picks up off the ground slightly, the bodyweight will be over the right foot. Then bring both your arms back to the body, moving your weight to the initial position and facing front. This is your front move.
Repeat the exercise on your left side to count two exercises. Then move to jumping jacks. With your arms at sides and the feet hip-width apart, begin by standing upright. Then while raising the arms, jump your feet out. Repeat this as fast as you can, for the next 20 seconds.Next, do sumo squats. With the feet a bit more than your hip width, point the toes out at an angle of 45 degrees. With your weight in the heels, chest upright and back flat, lower yourself until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Engage your quads and glutes, and push yourself back to the starting position. Repeat this for the next 20 seconds.Rest for 10 seconds and then repeat the exercises before getting another 10 seconds of rest and repeating.
When doing HIITs, ensure that you are giving the body the resting period it deserves. If you are not recovering fully in between rounds, don’t push yourself so much because insufficient recovery may result in overuse injuries as well as diminished results.
2. Circuit training
This is a form of resistance training or body conditioning that uses high-intensity aerobics targeting muscular endurance and strength building. An exercise circuit involves a completion of all exercises prescribed in a program. On completing a circuit, you begin the first exercise to do the next circuit.
Conventionally, the period between exercises is short, normally with swift movement to the next. A circuit needs to work, individually, every section of your body. Normal activities for your upper body include bench dips, squat ups, bench lifts, back extensions and inclined pressure ups. For your core and trunk, activities include stomach crunch for upper abdominals, sit ups for lower abdominals and back extensions for chest raise.
To work your lower body, you need activities such as compass jumps, step-ups, squat jumps, shuttle runs, astride jumps, bench squats and hopping shuttles. For total body workouts, you may do burpees, skipping, squat thrusts and jogging. Studies at the Cooper Institute and Baylor University have shown that circuit training is one of the most time efficient technique of enhancing cardiovascular fitness as well as muscle endurance. Other studies have shown that circuit training is important in helping women to attain their weight loss goals as well as maintaining the goals longer than any other form of exercise.
As you can see, cardio exercises are important in enhancing your overall well-being. Being a stay-at-home mother does not mean that you cannot enjoy these benefits. With these great cardio workout programs, you can exercise at the comfort of your home to improve your heart condition as well as reap the benefits of a good health.