How to get started on cardio

Cardiovascular training, also known as cardio-respiratory exercise, or simply called "cardio", is a form of exercise that raises your heartbeat to improve oxygen consumption by the body.

It involves movements that can improve your heart and lung functions. Whether it is walking while shopping or swimming long distance, they are all considered a form of cardio exercise.

Cardio training is a major part of fitness that helps you get in shape, keeps you healthy and fit, lose or maintain weight, lower cholesterol and prevent diseases and disorders.

There are many benefits of cardio training whether you want to complete a marathon or improve your general health and fitness. It also has the added advantage of promoting well-being.


Cardio exercise enables your heart and lungs to work more efficiently and become stronger. It also helps to increase bone density, reduce stress and decrease the risk of heart disease and cancers. Doing cardio training regularly relieves depression, increases confidence and gives you more energy. It can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.


To burn fat, cardio training should last at least 20 minutes. To feel the maximum benefits, train at least three times a week. The heart rate must be between 60 and 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate.


Everybody has a favourite time of day to exercise. If you train in the morning before having breakfast, you will burn fat stored mainly in the liver and muscles.

Training will increase energy levels, so you may want to train during lunch breaks so that you have greater energy in the afternoon.

Research has shown that the best time to exercise is in the evening because the body temperature is at the optimum level, but you can pick any time to fit into your day.

Stay motivated


You should enjoy yourself so you will stick with your exercise programme. Choose a cardio activity that you like, so that you want to do more of it.

However, to challenge your body, and get the best results, include variety in your training and keep a record to monitor your progress. And stay motivated!


To lose weight and maintain your new weight, you need to combine cardio training with resistance training because the latter will increase your metabolism and help you burn more calories.

You also can do exercises using a rowing machine and a cross trainer that use greater muscle mass. These work both your lower and upper body, and will burn more calories compared to other cardiovascular exercises.

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