The “New” Cardio
Do you consider yourself a cardio king or queen? Or maybe you just like to lift weights? Cardio is only one aspect of a well-rounded fitness regime. Keep reading for reasons why we all need both types of cardio and, perhaps, knowing the “new” cardio may interest you enough to keep it up!
Are you happy to hear that you have more choices of cardio than the traditional forms, like running and elliptical?
Some of the “new” cardio is jumping rope and kickboxing. Way cooler, wouldn’t you say?
With these plyometric cardio forms, we can easily use visualization techniques when we train by drawing from the many excellent Hollywood films based on real-life champion boxers and martial artists.
As movies activate most of our senses, including emotional ones, they have the power to help us mentally train for the physical event – when we actually do it. Even if it’s pure fiction, most of the boxing and martial art movies have motivating and inspiring story-lines!
Jump rope and kickboxing turn out to be more effective than the most common cardio, too. Did you know that 10 minutes of jump rope (continual, like a boxer trains where every muscle is in play) is equivalent to 40 minutes on a treadmill?
A Well-Rounded Cardio Program
If you’ve been training with our Toronto personal trainers, then you are aware of active rest (or active recovery during rest periods). This is when we want to lower our heart-rate from high-intensity activities in the workout, to a heart-rate which provides the oxygen levels gained from low-to-moderate intensity activities. This increases the overall effectiveness of the workout.
How? We’d be happy to explain! Let’s begin with explaining the two main types of cardio exercises: aerobic and anaerobic.
Aerobic is considered anything that increases your heart-rate and oxygen levels for extended periods of time (more than two minutes). This type is used to build endurance and cardiovascular strength. This is the “old” cardio (running, biking, swimming, etc) that some of us love and others despise.
Anaerobic exercise is high-intensity, short bursts of activity that use fast twitch muscle fibers and cause lactate to form. These exercises can be sustained for a short period of time, lasting for mere seconds up to two minutes, and is what professional athletes and body builders use to build muscular and skeletal strength, increasing speed and power.
Why Anaerobic Exercise is Important
The energy systems used during anaerobic exercises are complex, but boiled down, the term “anaerobic” literally means “without oxygen.” When muscles lack oxygen, they use different sources of energy in the muscles; one of which is glucose that breaks down to form lactic acid.
When the body experiences high levels of lactic acid, it causes muscle fatigue. Exactly what we need to build strength! With consistent training, the body becomes more efficient in its anaerobic metabolic functions, decreasing the production of lactic acid and increasing the ability to remove it from the bloodstream.
Anaerobic exercise also creates an excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which is the after-effects of calories burning at rest for up to 38 hours after exercising!
The Most Efficient Cardio Program
During your anaerobic exercises, you deprive your muscles of oxygen which breaks them down. The oxygen-rich aerobic exercises within your workout (as in your active rest periods), supplies your muscles with the healing energy of oxygen.
If your goal is to improve health and wellness, then you’ll want a holistic training program that includes a well-rounded cardio program (along with weight-bearing exercises and stretching). That is, ideally, within your cardio, you incorporate both aerobic and anaerobic exercises in your weekly regime.
“Good” certified personal trainers create holistic fitness programs for their clients depending on your goals and current fitness levels.
Cardio Tip: breathing is very important. In order to sustain consistent energy throughout the exercise, you need adequate supply of oxygen. For example, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.