Your physical fitness is divided into 3 basic components: Muscle Strength and Endurance, Cardiovascular Fitness, and Flexibility. Out of these three, Cardio Fitness (also known as Aerobic Fitness) is considered extremely important.
According to Wikipedia, cardiovascular fitness is defined as “the ability of the heart, blood cells, and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the muscles tissues, and the ability of the muscles to use the oxygen to produce energy for movement”.
Putting it simply, Cardiovascular Fitness refers to the amount of oxygen that our body absorbs, supplies and uses to produce energy. This energy, in turn, assists our muscles to carry out movement and activities.
Why is Cardiovascular Fitness Important?
Maintaining a good cardiovascular fitness requires commitment. While the task may not seem easy at first, it does have many benefits. The healthier your cardio fitness, the lesser are your chances of getting a stroke, diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure and fatigue or illnesses in general.
Cardiovascular exercises also help in increasing your metabolism. This increased metabolism makes it easier to maintain or even lose weight. Aerobics also helps in burning the excess fats in your body.
Exercise releases endorphins in the body, which helps in elevating the mood. It also helps in improving the general state of mind by helping people feel more confident in general. Studies have also shown that physical fitness also helps in combatting depression and anxiety.
Tips on How to Improve Cardio Fitness
If you are concerned about your health and wish to improve your cardiovascular fitness, then here are five important tips for you:
One of the most important things that we must keep in mind is to maintain a proper diet. Generally, you must try to avoid processed food, saturated fats, junk or fast food (especially the deep-fried variety) and high contents of artificial sugars or flavorings. Consume food with high protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, oats, dates, milkshakes and olive oil are very beneficial for health. Maintain a proper schedule for meals and avoid eating out of time.
Plan a Proper Workout:
First of all, you should combine your strength days with your cardio days. Meaning that you should alternate between weight lifting and muscle building and aerobic exercises. You should also make a proper routine on how you wish to carry out your training throughout the week. Aerobic exercises like swimming, jogging and fast-paced walking must be done at least 3 to 4 times a week for about 30 minutes. However, if you are not used to cardio training, it is better to begin by short brisk walks.
According to trainer and gym owner Scott Reynolds, “to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, we must push our body past its comfort zone or threshold. This will send neuropathic signals to the brain telling it that the body wants to develop and grow. If we don’t reach this level in training, the signals will not be created and so your cardiovascular fitness will remain the same.” So whenever you work out, remember to keep challenging yourself to do better.
Try High-Intensity Interval Training:
The best way to boost your metabolism and to increase your endurance is to do high-intensity interval training. This means to alternate your moderate sets with high-intensity sets. For example, if you are running, sprint at a fast pace for 30 seconds then drop down to a moderate pace for the next 2 minutes. This helps in not only a better cardiovascular system but also increases your stamina.
One of the worst possible things you could do is become monotonous in your workout routine. Always remember to mix it up in order to keep your muscles pumped up and energized. The human body generally gets used to a routine after two weeks. If you generally jog, change it to climbing stairs after a while.
In the end, always remember that like a well-oiled machine, your body too required proper toning. Try to make most out of these tips and live out a healthy life!