It’s time to cover every basic thing about cardio. I wont be talking about recent researches or tricks etc because none of them works. Its as simple; the harder you work the better you get. So lets start from what is this cardio.
When a beginner starts his fitness journey he might listen the word cardio as his first word. So lets understand what is this cardio thing. Cardio is basically short form for cardiovascular. In our body cardiovascular system is responsible for supply of oxygen and nutrients to all the cell with blood flow caused by the heart. So this form of training causes the elevation in heart rate.
Since more amount of work is done by the body during exercises, more amount of oxygen is needed to each individual cell to keep up with the applied stress. Our body thus burns more calories to combat this stress.
Cardio Heart Rate
For cardio, our heart rate should be above 60% of our max possible heart rate. To calculate your maximum possible heart rate here is a simple formula. That is subtract your current age from 220. Now you get your maximum possible heart rate. For example I am 19 years old right now. So my maximum heart rate would be 220 – 19 = 201. So 201 is my maximum heart rate. I cant go beyond it. Beyond it lies my death . So if I want to perform cardio my heart rate should be 120+ (120 is the 60% of my max heart rate which is 201 ). So that explains cardio in simplest terms possible.
Many people think that cardio is a separate exercises. Like when I mention cardio people say “How much do you run in a day?”. Well it is true that the most common way to do cardio is running but one thing worth mentioning here is that cardio can be done with any exercise. You can do cardio with body weight exercises too so you don’t need all those fancy equipment. I see many people who think just buying a treadmill would help them. No way, you can do it without treadmill if you are passionate about it.
Starting with some of the basic health effects this cardio will offer you. First of all it really improves your overall health. When you train keeping your heart rate elevated then your hearts perform better. Due to elevated heart rate more and more oxygen and nutrients are transported to the cells. So that keeps everything fresh. Cardio burns fat and that is why everyone performs it. For example running for about 10-15 minutes will help you burn 100 kcalls.
Well that amount of calories is not constant. It depends upon your weight, height, age and gender. You can perform cardio daily because it doesn’t stress away the body too much and no special recovery is required. If your goal is to lose fat then think of incorporating cardio in your routine. You can split your cardio routine like 2 to 3 times in a day so that wont tire you and infact will be easy to do. Instead of running 30 minutes in a single time split it up into 10 minutes session and do it three times a day. In this way you are less likely to get tire and quit.
Some Bad News
As this cardio has many health benefits there are some bad news too. Cardio can burn muscles. That is right. If you have decent amount of muscle in your body than do cardio carefully. Any cardio for more than 20 minutes in a single time can start burning your muscles. Specially if you are performing fast pace cardio keeping your heart rate above 80% than it will most likely start burning muscles after just 5-10 minutes.
So for those who want to preserve muscles i prefer do slow pace cardio for less than 20 mins in a single time. Do it 2-3 times in a day and you would be getting the best possible results.Another drawback is that cardio takes alot of energy and the result it promises takes time. I know its not easy to do cardio for a month and seeing just a little bit difference but that’s how it works. If you think you would shed 3-4 kg of fat in a month with cardio than sorry. It is not possible. Even if you succeed , you would be burning muscles instead of fat. So cardio takes time and dedication with the will to never give up.
So that simply is cardio. Now you know what are the good and bad stuff of cardio its time to think whether to incorporate it in your training schedule or not. It all depends upon your fitness goals. If you are ready to put in some 3-4 months then do slow pace cardio daily for about 2-3 times in a day and you would be in a best possible shape. If you want to lose all the fat in a month then I am afraid there is no way for that.