A lot of sitting and standing, mostly in a temperature-regulated office: this is what a normal day often looks like. As a result, our cardiovascular system starts to deteriorate, as it’s actually designed for much more. Back in prehistoric times, our bodies had to meet much greater challenges and frequently operate at peak levels – when hunting, for example. No wonder, then, that our heart and entire circulatory system need to be regularly exerted: not only to strengthen the heart, but to stimulate circulation and deliver oxygen to our organs too.
Cardio training is a versatile method to boost circulation that is suitable for all ages.
However, before starting with cardio training, questions are likely to arise. In this article we provide an all-round overview of cardio training with answers to the following questions:
- 1. What is cardio training?
- How can I do cardio training at home? (video)
- How intense should cardio training be?
- Why is cardio training important?
What does cardio training mean?
Cardio training in the classic sense is stamina training that lasts longer than 30 minutes – like a typical jog or bike ride, for example. But shorter sessions are also good for circulation and improve stamina too. Our 10-minute cardio workout, for example, is a great way to quickly feel energised in the morning or during the day.
10-minute cardio workout
Whether beginner or more advanced, you’re sure to find inspiration from our cardio workout video. Only 10 minutes long, the compact workout can easily be incorporated into your daily routine.
The short workout follows the concept of interval training: instead of training at medium intensity over a longer period, as is the case in stamina training, interval training alternates between high-intensity phases and active breaks. This pushes the body to reach its limits quickly and get the heart pumping. Nonetheless, the body still needs longer periods of cardio exercise – so don’t stop with your runs or longer bike rides.
The goal of cardio training is to really challenge the body – so sweating is encouraged. But be careful: each person has different limits. So only stretch yourself as far as you still feel comfortable and don't start gasping for breath.
Our 10-minute cardio workout is suitable for beginners, but can be made more strenuous with a few tweaks:
- The faster you do the movements, the more strenuous.
- If walking during the active break is too simple, then jog on the spot.
- Other options for greater intensity are incorporated into the individual exercises.
- And if you still want more – add on some strength training or a yoga flow.
Exercising the cardiovascular system: why cardio pays off
- The body’s circulatory system needs exercise because exercise makes the heart work harder. As a result, more blood is pumped into the circulatory system and the organs are better supplied with oxygen. Cardio is also good for the muscles as it provides them with nutrients and oxygen, which enhances their performance.
- A well-exercised heart works more efficiently. In other words: although the heart beats more slowly, it pumps more blood into the system with each beat. This efficiency not only protects the heart – over time, it also lowers blood pressure, prevents circulatory problems, thromboses and heart attacks, and improves cholesterol levels.
- Regular cardio training increases the volume of blood cells and haemoglobin. This enables the body to store more oxygen and to better supply oxygen to its organs and muscles. Our immune system and blood sugar levels also benefit.
- Cardio training is also being studied in connection with cancer, depression and osteoporosis. Researchers believe it may help prevent these medical conditions too.