You want to do Cardio but don’t know where to begin?
You don’t have a lot of time and want to get a bang for your buck?
Here’s what we’re aiming for : Increased HR+ Increased Cardiac Output + Stroke Volume + Calories burned from Fat
Good news! If your cardiovascular exercise lasts longer than 20-25 minutes, you are working aerobically. If weight loss is your goal, cardio is optimal as your body can break down stored body fat to fuel aerobic respiration and you can reduce your overall carbohydrate intake afterwards to keep your calories low.
Intensity factors: Upright aerobic activities hit the goals the hardest, due to gravity’s effect on blood circulation. The heart has to work harder to return the blood from pooling legs to the heart. This doesn’t happen when cardiovascular exercises are performed in a supine or prone position. Prone is represented in plank and supine is lying with the spine on the ground. Upright activity demands the heart to maintain forceful contractions for as long as you maintain the activity. The more you train aerobically, the greater the benefits will be for your heart’s health and strength even when you are at rest.
Upright Activities Include:
- Walking: In the middle of a slow walk most of the body’s demands can be met solely by increasing heart rate. We all start somewhere, walk fast like you need to find a bathroom!
- Running: An increased heart rate is not going to successfully meet the body’s energy demands, particularly if there are grades of incline involved in the run. The need for more oxygen requires both an elevated heart rate and stroke volume. If you are running in intervals, for example sprints followed by a light jog, the body will create energy using both anaerobic and aerobic respiration.Intervals like this will target that last goal of maximal calories burned from fat.
- Cycling: This can go back and forth combining both an elevated heart rate and also elevated stroke volume and depending on the climb, there is also an anaerobic element to this activity and will also burn the most calories from fat.
Supine/ Prone Activities
- Swimming: This is the supine/prone position as described before. Because there is little effect of gravity on the body there aren’t huge distinctions between prone and supine as far as water is concerned. There is an element of drag from the water, but there is again no pooling of blood in the lower extremities because of the body’s position. Without this pooling, blood is easily brought back to the heart, and doesn’t require the sustained powerful contractions that running would. It is still an excellent exercise and uses cellular respiration increasing both heart rate and stroke volume. This is the best cardiovascular exercise for individuals who have joint issues and or lack of cartilage.