Technological progress has simplified human existence, but has led him to a sedentary lifestyle. The result was chronic diseases and extra pounds. If the mention of sports activity worsens your mood, and you want to bring your body into good shape, then you can start with a regular walk. Walking will quickly improve the condition of the body, because it belongs to a special group of physical activity called “cardio”.

Cardio training is exactly the case when, at the same time as strengthening the body, exercises help to get rid of subcutaneous fat. Movement restores and maintains the health of the heart and blood vessels, increases endurance and normalizes metabolism. In addition, cardio loading helps a person realize how and why you need to lead an active lifestyle. It’s worth just getting started.

What is cardio

Cardio training is a type of physical activity in which the heart works in a rapid mode, and subcutaneous fat and glycogen act as a source of energy. Loads of this kind have a positive effect on the functioning of organs, strengthen blood vessels, develop the respiratory system, increase endurance and help to lose weight.

Training is characterized by a minimal set of strength exercises and, although it involves various muscle groups, does not lead to an increase in muscle mass. This type of load, as a rule, is present in any fitness program, but it is quite suitable for exercising at home. At the same time, increased pulse values ​​are a necessary condition for efficiency.

Exercise accelerates the heart muscle to the desired number of contractions, in which the body activates metabolism and biochemical processes. Keeping the heart rate within the specified limits for 30-60 minutes provides a qualitative result of training, however, exceeding the specified limits already poses a health hazard. Therefore, during the lesson, constant monitoring of the state of the above parameters is necessary.

Types of cardio training

The most common cardio workouts that can be practiced even outside the gym are:

  • walking;
  • run;
  • jumping rope;
  • skis;
  • swimming.

In fitness centers, such loads include exercises on certain types of simulators (steppers, ellipses, bicycles, and others), aerobics, dancing, circular and interval intensives, and game sports (tennis, football and volleyball).


Natural for every type of activity, suitable for people with heart disease, obesity. Walking is also recommended during classes during the rehabilitation period after injuries. In addition, this is a good solution for those who are new to the sport and those who cannot find time to exercise. Unlike running, movements do not put a lot of stress on the body, in particular on the joints, spine muscles.

It is advisable to practice walking daily, alternating quick steps with regular ones. They should be frequent and short, as wide leg movements can cause pain in the hips and feet. When walking uphill, the efficiency of the load increases, and this helps to burn more calories. Excellent results in recovery are shown by Nordic walking and movements on the track of the simulator, set at an angle.

So, in order to get the same calorie consumption when replacing running with walking, you need to spend approximately 2 times more time. For example, 40 minutes of running is equivalent to 80 minutes of walking at a brisk pace (150 steps per minute).


Jogging is an effective and simple cardio workout that allows you to recharge your batteries and burn a lot of calories. Moreover, such activity is equally useful both in the street and in the hall, and the intensity will depend on the state of health. Contraindications for running are knee problems and being overweight.

A stable and fast result will provide medium-speed running for 1 hour with a frequency of 3-5 times a week. Beginners are advised to start with 10 minutes a day, adding 120-180 extra seconds each session. You can train for 20 minutes, but in this case you need to take breaks for walking. In addition, while jogging, it is important to monitor breathing and heart rate. If the state of health is not ideal, then before starting classes it is better to consult a doctor so that he picks up the intensity of movements.


In just an hour of swimming in the pool, you can burn 600 kcal. This type of cardio does not load the spine and joints, but it involves a large number of muscles at a fairly moderate intensity. Continuous movement in the water increases the volume of the lungs, which improves the supply of oxygen to the body and increases blood circulation. In addition, swimming does not release as much lactic acid as land-based training.

Successful burning of fat and pumping of muscles will ensure attending classes on the water with a regularity of 3-4 times a week. In training, you should combine the use of different styles and movement in the pool at a fast pace. Processes will become even more effective if you work under the guidance of an experienced trainer. The instructors of the La Salute fitness club prepare an individual cardio program for each client, adjust the load to bring even a beginner to the ideal result.


The advantage of cycling is the absence of shock load on the joints and bones. Cardio training burns about 550 kcal per hour, “dries out” leg muscles and is suitable for both beginners and more trained athletes. The result is provided by riding 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Moreover, classes on an exercise bike in the gym are not inferior to pedaling on the street in terms of load efficiency.


Work on such equipment imitates running, walking, rowing, cycling and other types of training. Movements pump almost all muscle groups and, if desired, provide high intensity, but at the same time give minimal stress on the joints. In addition, the simulators can always be programmed to control being in the cardio zone. Also, when exercising in the gym, it is easier to exercise under the supervision of a trainer.


A mix of elements to energetic music not only strengthens the general physical condition, but also increases joint mobility, forms a muscular corset, and helps to lose weight. Exercise increases lung capacity and oxygenates tissues. In addition, aerobic exercise calms the nervous system, counteracts stress and improves sleep.

The expected effectiveness is achieved only through regular exercises with a sufficient number of repetitions, performed at low or medium intensity. It is better to start with light workouts and increase the load gradually (by 10% per week).

Any combination of cardio activity or classes every other day with different types of load is acceptable. This will pump all muscle groups and make the body as developed as possible.

The benefits of cardio training

In addition to burning calories and increasing endurance, cardio exercises:

  • ventilate the lungs and saturate the cells of the body with oxygen;
  • train the heart muscle, reducing the risk of a heart attack;
  • act as prevention of atherosclerosis, hypertension and diabetes mellitus;
  • speed up metabolism;
  • normalize hormonal levels and improve skin condition;
  • reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol;
  • strengthen bone tissue;
  • promote the production of endorphins, which increases the body’s resistance to stress;
  • normalize the activity of the central nervous system;
  • overall toning and energy boost.

The success and benefits of any type of cardio training depends on proper nutrition. Only a diet with a lot of complex carbohydrates and protein will help maintain strength, energy and normalize the work of all body systems. Such loads are recommended for several categories of the population at once. So, moderate cardio exercises help older people maintain the state of the heart and blood vessels in order and prolong the years of active life. The combination of cardio and strength training allows overweight trainees to get a dream figure. In addition, cardio helps in the development of endurance during cyclic sports and allows you to recover from intense loads and overtraining.


Despite the fact that cardio training benefits a large number of people, it should be said about their harm for some categories. For example, it is not recommended to engage in infectious and oncological diseases, diabetes and severe cardiac disorders.

Also, the possibility of performing exercises with caution is said in case of obesity, asthma, joint diseases, intervertebral hernia in the post-infarction state. The presence of these diagnoses requires a mandatory consultation with a doctor who will consider the feasibility of such activities and the potential benefits for the body.

It is strictly forbidden to train in the presence of the following problems:

  • respiratory diseases;
  • allergic manifestations in acute form;
  • ulcers in the organs of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • chronic processes in the acute stage.

Rules for doing cardio at home

If for some reason you can’t regularly go jogging or go to the gym, you can organize cardio training at home. There are general guidelines for conducting such classes. But before you start, you need to undergo a complete medical examination to exclude contraindications. When the doctor’s permission is obtained, you can start preparing. What needs to be done:

  • determine a place in the house for training;
  • purchase a special rubberized mat, heart rate monitor or fitness bracelet;
  • choose the right clothes.

As for the workouts themselves:

  1. It is necessary to ventilate the room before each lesson.
  2. You should start with simple loads and gradually complicate. At first, it may be difficult, but after 3-5 workouts, the body adapts.
  3. No need to torture yourself with long sessions. Cardio does not involve long-term loads. The optimal time is 40-60 minutes.
  4. It is advisable to train to music. It is motivating and uplifting.
  5. Do not neglect the warm-up – this is an important stage. You need to finish the lesson by stretching the muscles. Preparing the joints and warming up the body will help to avoid injuries and problems with blood vessels, and a hitch at the end of the workout will return you to a calm state and speed up the recovery of the body.
  6. Do not forget about the drinking regimen.
  7. Breathe properly: inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
  8. Heart rate should be kept at 60-80% of the maximum allowable rate. If there is no device, then you can measure the pulse manually for 15 seconds, and multiply the value by 4.
  9. Rest periods should not exceed 40 seconds.
  10. It is better to use an interval mode (30 seconds of work – 15 seconds of rest) – this will allow you to achieve efficiency in reducing weight.

Pulse and cardio: how to calculate individually

The maximum heart rate level for a particular person is calculated by the formula 220 minus age. During the first weeks, the indicator should not be allowed to exceed 60% of the value obtained, and then – 70-80%. An individual pulse zone is chosen depending on the goals of the load:

Pulse zone

% of maximum heart rate

Heart rate readings (boundary parameters)

Permissible training time,  min






Weak load, which is recommended for beginners. Accelerates metabolism and tones the body.
fat burning




Exercises with a low level of stress on the muscles. Recommended for frequent non-intensive exercises that develop endurance.
Strength Endurance




More powerful aerobic training. Differs in ease of breathing and muscle fatigue. With a standard duration recommended for everyone.


Cardio training is meaningless if you do not combine exercise with proper nutrition. Even before starting classes, you need to review your diet and, as far as possible, give preference to healthy food.

An hour before class, you can eat light proteins (yogurt, lean meat and cottage cheese, eggs) and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (whole grain cereals and wholemeal flour products, vegetables, brown rice). After the load, you should pay attention to protein products.

How and when is the best time to practice

The standard duration of a workout for weight loss is 40-60 minutes. Fat begins to be consumed after half an hour, so you should not stop. However, cardio exercises after a power load should not exceed 20-30 minutes, and the same applies to the morning hours on an empty stomach – no more than half an hour. In both options, fat will be used as fuel, since glycogen levels are lowered. The regularity of classes for weight loss is 2-3 times a week.

Although you can do it at any time, the time depends on the type of cardio chosen, equipment and simulators:

  1. Morning. This period is more suitable for running, walking and cardio activity. Classes are held on an empty stomach. After a night on an empty stomach, fat is burned instantly, so you can devote 30 minutes to exercise. But it is better not to do interval and strength training, as well as exercises with weight.
  2. Day. This time can be devoted to any kind of cardio. Carried out in the afternoon, they strengthen the heart rather than contribute to weight loss. The session should last 1 hour. After training, it is necessary to “feed” the body with protein food (after 30-45 minutes). Complex carbohydrates can be consumed an hour after a meal.
  3. Evening. It is also suitable for any cardio load and does not differ in duration from the daytime. Whether a workout will burn fat depends on the meal before exercise. For weight loss, it is important to observe a gap of 1.5-2 hours. In order not to accumulate fat at night, the menu should include protein and vegetables.
  4. Morning and evening – double cardio. This option is used for fat burning, and it works great. Morning and evening training should take 30 minutes. The first is performed on an empty stomach, and the second at bedtime, without using anything after.

Proper clothing and footwear

The material from which training clothing is made should be moisture-wicking and breathable. If classes involve increased sweating, it is better not to choose cotton fabrics, but to purchase products with antibacterial impregnation. Often girls wear smaller costumes, but this is unacceptable. Clothing should fit the parameters of the figure in order to be comfortable in the suit. You should also pay attention to the seams: they should be soft.

As for shoes, only sneakers are suitable for classes, and not sneakers, socks, etc. You also can’t go barefoot. The wrong choice of shoes is fraught with injuries or joint problems. It is better that the sole springs well and does not slip, and there are ventilating inserts on the sides. In addition, sneakers should fix the arch of the foot and fit snugly on the leg.

Cardio exercises for home workouts

For training, you can always find a suitable video on the Internet. Moreover, there is no fundamental difference in the training programs for men and women. Is it possible for the stronger sex to do more approaches, and for beginners to choose simple exercises. The main thing is to keep the heart rate when performing tasks, and before starting cardio, do a warm-up.

As an example, a complex for beginners is given. Exercises will raise the pulse, increase metabolism and start fat burning processes. In the future, the lesson can be diversified by jumping and running in place.

one. Mahi with legs bent at the knee with pulling up to the chest. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and raise your straight arms up. At the same time, pull the knee to the chest and lower the arms bent at the elbows along the body. Repeat alternately, changing limbs.
2. Tilts diagonally to the foot.  Put your feet together, raise your straight arms above your head. Take a wide step to the right and at the same time touch the right foot with your left hand. Straighten up and repeat the tilt to the other leg.
3. Steps in plank. Take the “plank” position on straight arms, leaning on the feet and palms. Keep your lower back straight. Alternately pull up the legs bent at the knees in the chest, simulating steps.
four. Leading the leg to the side in a half-squat.  In a standing position, bend your legs slightly. First, make an approach in one direction, vigorously moving the leg to the side and returning it to its place. After a series of such movements, change the leg and repeat everything. In this case, the hands should help, simulating a run.
5. Boxing.  Take a stance, spreading your legs wider than your shoulders. Place your arms bent at the elbows in the chest area, pressing them on the sides to the body. Clenching your palms into a fist, make alternate movements forward, simulating boxing punches.
6. Mahi with pulling the knee to the chest.  Extend your arms in front of you. Put one leg back, and squat slightly on the other. Perform swings to the chest with the allotted limb, bending it at the knee. Hands to help movements. Do first on one side, and then on the other.
7. Swing forward with straight legs. Legs in a straight stance shoulder-width apart, arms at the sides along the waist. Do swings in front of you with straight legs, at the same time reaching out with the palm of the opposite hand to the toe.
eight. Mahi “knee-elbow “. Standing in a straight position, join your hands above your head. Make swings to the chest with a leg bent at the knee, and at the same time lower your hands, touching the knee with the opposite elbow. Repeat alternately on different sides.
9. Back lunges with arms raised. Standing position, legs together, arms at the sides along the body. Do lunges with one foot back, putting it on the toe, and raise straight arms up. Return to starting position and repeat on the other leg. Do alternately 10-15 times at an intense pace.



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