Cardio - you either love it or if you’re like the rest of the world, you look at it as the necessary evil of the world. Good news for you is, cardio just got a lot more efficient, and we’re going to break down why that is in the following pages. The golden answer of “how much cardio do I have to do?” will be revealed, and we think you’re going to like the results.
First Things First, What’s Considered “Cardio”?
Cardiovascular exercise, “cardio”, refers to vigorous activity that raises the heart rate and increases oxygen and blood flow throughout the body. Larger muscles are used in a rhythmic way with constant repetition. For exercise to be considered cardio, it must raise your heart rate and keep it raised post workout for roughly 10 minutes. Think of movements that get you out of breath or make it hard to complete a full sentence without huffing and puffing.
The levels or types of movements might vary from person to person in order to provide the necessary challenge to get your heart rate up. For instance, walking vs running, climbing the stairs vs jumping jacks. Cardio comes in many shapes and forms. Finding the right cardio for you is key to ensure you are receiving the maximum benefits!
Benefits of Cardio
Benefit #1 : Increases the strength of your heart
With cardio being an activity that gets your heart pumping, one of the biggest benefits includes an increase in heart strength. Raising your heart rate ultimately helps to improve the efficiency at which your blood can deliver oxygen to your muscles resulting in an improvement in your overall cardiovascular ability. By challenging the cardiovascular system, the system's efficiency and output improves!
Benefit #2: Increases Metabolism
Incorporating cardio into your weekly routine assists with increasing your metabolism and your body’s overall capacity to burn fat. The duration, frequency and personal challenge of the cardio, aids to promote fat loss. With an increased metabolism your body will experience fat loss over time.
Benefit #3 Improved Energy
Cardiovascular activity on a regular basis helps to improve your energy! It increases blood flow to your muscles, improving your energy levels and decreasing blood pressure.
Benefit #4 : Lowered Risk of Heart Disease
By consistently using your body in ways that elevate your heart rate, you are at a lower risk of disease such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes.
Different Types of Cardio for Beginners
There are a couple different categories of cardio - aerobic and anaerobic - and it is beneficial for us to get a mix of both. Aerobic activity correlates with what is most commonly referred to as endurance type of exercises. Endurance (aerobic) activity is performing an exercise for an extended period of time. Examples include walking, running, rowing, cycling or dancing. The goal of Aerobic or Endurance exercise is to maximize the amount of time in the exercise regardless of capacity (how fast or big your movements are). Benefits include increase of maximal oxygen uptake and lowered resting heart rate.
On the other side of cardio, you have Anaerobic activity, relating to stamina. This type of cardio requires high intensity movements at your fullest ability. You might find this type of exercise most in a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) facility (Boot Camp or Circuit style-training), movements might include sprints, squat jumps or burpees. The goal for Anaerobic or Stamina exercise is to maximize the amount of time in an activity while performing at your max capacity (think your biggest range of motion as fast as you possibly can). Benefits include increase in overall strength and improved blood flow.
Full 10 Minute Cardio Workout for Beginners
Pick an activity! Whether it be walking, running, riding a bike, dancing to your favorite music. Commit to doing that for 10 minutes a day. Every time you do it, see if you can go a little farther, move a little faster. This is the perfect way to set a solid foundation for healthy habits.
2 Full Body Circuits
Ex 1 Step Side to Side Pull Downs
Ex 2 Plank Knee Pulls
Ex 3 Hot feet, twist jump
Ex 4 Hoover Push-up, bear crawl side to side
Ex 1 Pony
Ex 2 Single Leg Bridge Press
Ex 3 Walking Lunge Twist
Ex 4 Single Leg Bridge Press
Experience the Best Low Impact Cardio Workout for Beginners at AKT!
AKT classes are for all levels of fitness! Whether you are new to your fitness journey, recovering from an injury or looking for a challenge. Each class format and content is created with this in mind. The class incorporates a mix of high and low impact movements while the instructors deliver low impact variations for each high impact exercise in an easy-to-follow along fashion.
FAQs About AKT and Cardio Workouts for Beginners
What is the best cardio workout for beginners?
The best Cardio workout for beginners is something that is FUN! Think of activities you can do that get you excited or you can do with a friend. Some activities that are simple and fun include walking, hiking or dancing! If you are excited to do it, you will do it more consistently and be more likely to make it a routine.
How long should a beginner do cardio?
The Department of Health and Human Resources recommends that the average adult in good standing health, should complete 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity OR 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. This can be broken up to fit your schedule and lifestyle. To get started, I recommend starting with a few smaller increments of times throughout the week. For instance, three 30 minute walks per week OR 1-2 cardio group fitness classes per week.
Remember this is a baseline to get going. If you have fitness goals you are looking to achieve you will want to look at increasing the intensity or frequency every a couple of weeks to keep yourself from plateauing.
How do I start cardio workouts?
Your warm up is crucial to kick off an effective cardio workout. You want to make sure your muscles are warm, activated and lengthened. This will prevent injury and ensure you are using proper mechanics and form during your cardio session. Best movements for your warm up include, full-body dynamic stretching, low impact and high intensity movements as well as core activation exercises.
Some examples include, a yoga flow, a plank or even a little low impact dancing.
What is the best cardio for beginners to lose weight?
Studies have shown that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) contributes numerous health and physiological benefits. In this type of training, the body has the ability to be challenged in multiple planes of motion. This means that not one part of the body or muscles group gets left out making it a true full body workout.
HIIT caters to all levels of fitness because it is based on your personal perception of intensity. You are pushing to your maximum potential every exercise, everytime. With that being the goal, overtime of repeated efforts and a regular routine, your personal max will improve, causing you to naturally challenge yourself each time. This technique ensures a steady increase in results overtime and promotes longer lasting change.
Why does AKT have the best low impact cardio workouts for beginners?
All classes at AKT are inclusive for all levels. The movements in every class include a combination of low and high impact exercises. The trainers in each class provide easy to follow modifications for additional low-impact variations throughout class. Our BANDS class uses resistance bands that aid in joint support while doing high impact movements! In addition, our TONE class is our designated low impact class that focuses on strength and mobility. At the end of that class we foam roll which is the perfect complement to a challenging workout and helps to keep you moving with ease.