Cardio Fitness

Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, is a critical component of fitness. It gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing, and helps keep the whole body healthy and functioning properly. The benefits of consistent cardio are vast—it reduces your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. It increases the energy you have to power through your day, and can also help improve your sleep quality.

While it’s important to work all the muscles in your body, certain exercises are better at increasing cardiovascular endurance than others. The best cardio workouts are those that target the larger muscle groups in your legs and trunk, like running or swimming. They should also be high-intensity, meaning they are performed at a quick pace with short rest periods between rounds. Examples include Tabata or Shaun T’s program, Transform :20.

The best way to find a cardio workout you love is to try a few different options and see what feels right for your body. Then, stick with it, and make it a regular part of your exercise routine. Remember to start each session by warming up, which is a lower-intensity version of the workout you’ll do, for about 5-10 minutes. This will allow your body to gradually increase its heart rate and breathing, while improving the flow of oxygen to the muscles you’ll be working.

Whether you choose to walk, swim, cycle or run, you can track your cardio fitness with the Health app and its built-in features. The cardio fitness metric shows you your current level of cardiovascular endurance and how much progress you’ve made over time, helping to encourage consistency. It also displays your VO2 max—the maximum amount of oxygen you can use during intense exercise. Depending on your age, gender, climate, medications and other factors, your VO2 max may be higher or lower than what the app displays.

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of cardio, it can also help you burn calories and build lean muscle. It is recommended to aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week.

As you get more comfortable with your cardio routine, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. However, before you do, check with your doctor or health care provider to make sure it’s safe for you. cardio fitness

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