Cardio vascular exercise simply relates to activity that raises your heart rate to a level where you’re working, giving you a huff puff affect. Most cardio work is determined by intensity and the standard 70%, long duration work, may be described by a working level that allows you to talk, but not hold a conversation. Here’s why cardio is so important:
• It’s one way to burn calories and help you lose weight
• It makes your heart strong so that it doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood
• It increases your lung capacity
• It helps reduce risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes
• It makes you feel good
• It helps you sleep better
• It helps reduce stress
Bottom line: you need cardio if you want to get your weight under control and get your stress to a tolerable level.
Short and sharp, the question is how much cardio do you need to life the life you want?
I.e. do you really need to be doing intervals if you are a stay at home mum who has a sound base of physical endurance, a clean diet and is in a healthy weight range? Maybe not, but then there are other benefits like increased well-being, strength, muscle toning and greater fat metabolism that may be of interest.
If you do want some a better cardio base then try the little method:
An alternative regimen based on a 2009 study uses 60 seconds of intense exercise (at 95% of V02max) followed by 75 seconds of rest, repeated for 8–12 cycles. Subjects using this method trained 3 times per week, and obtained gains similar to what would be expected from subjects who did steady state (50–70% VO2max) training for five hours per week. While still a demanding form of training, this exercise protocol could be used by the general public with nothing more than an average exercise bike.
Interval Variation I: Standard The following is a typical interval workout. You alternate the same period of low intensity with the same period of higher intensity.
3–5 minutes warmup (light jog, low intensity, gradually increasing at the end of the warmup period)
1 minute moderate or high intensity followed by 1 minute low intensity (repeat 6–8 time
3–5 minutes cool down (light jog, low intensity, gradually decreasing by the end of the cool down period)
Have a fulfilling week!