These life-giving and fat-melting exercises complement my toning routine - I've the chance to show off my toned muscles underneath!
How? Because the exercises are the most powerful and the most direct ways to hike up my metabolism to higher levels, causing me that much easier to burn off the excess fat and calories from my entire body, hence lifting the layer of fat covering my newly formed beautiful lean muscle mass.
Simply put, these exercises make use of large muscle groups (i.e. arms,legs, thighs, stomach) and they'll cause an increase in demand for oxygen over an extended period of time.
They're important components in my toning exercise program.
This is due to the fact that you and I need to "exercise" and "strengthen" our heart and lungs like we do for our other muscles, so that we're fit and in good health.
Hence, cardio exercises are the best ways to "exercise" and "strengthen" your heart and lungs and keep them in tip-top condition.
Let's get a bit technical here. I'm not trying to bore you but I think it would help to explain the importance of cardio exercises.
Your cardiovascular system is made up of your heart and blood vessels. Its purpose is to supply needed energy and nutrients to your brain, muscles and nerves.
Your respiratory system, on the other hand, is to get enough oxygen into your blood to supply your working muscles and to take waste out of your blood to keep it clean.
How to get these 2 systems to work their designated jobs?
Well, you do cardio and the magic's done.
Ummmm...Do you now see the importance of cardio exercises now?
I also think you can do with a dose of good facts on cardio before jumping on the cardio wagon.....
The other alluring part - I've said earlier - the exercises help to melt away body fat covering my muscles so I can show off the toned muscles underneath!
What an extraordinary bonus!
Talking about this brings me to the subject of whether you do cardio before or after your toning routine........
There are different views on whether you should do your cardio before or after your toning exercise.
Well, I opt for cardio before my toning routine to build up a good, hefty sweat and to burn some calories. My muscles then seem more able to move through the toning routine more easily after a cardio routine.
And to achieve optimal fitness in your body, you shouldn't just do individual muscle toning exercise.
Say you want to tone your butts.
You shouldn't just confine to toning your butts. You should throw in a cardio routine as well.
Cardio exercise not only helps to keep your heart and lungs in shape, it also helps to enhance your effort in doing toning exercise.
Let's say you start with cardio first before you go into the toning routine.
It'll serve as a pre-toning warm-up that'll send oxygen-rich blood into your muscles so that they will be warmer, and more pliable and less likely to experience injuries in the course of your toning.
Of course you're not wrong if you prefer to do your cardio after your toning session but I'm sure you can see the clear advantages of doing things in the order I recommend?
If you choose to do the cardio after your toning, go ahead but remember to always do a few minutes of warm-up first, before moving into toning proper.
If you choose to do the cardio before your toning, cool off for a few minutes before you begin toning and allow your heart rate to slow to under 120 beats per minute, to avoid dizziness, weakness and sometimes, fainting.
So, What Cardio Exercises you can Do?
How about these exercises?
Still not sure?
No worries there.
Just get to know which is the best cardio for you....
Plenty of them. Here, have a look at these benefits.
I'm sure you are now entranced by the many, many benefits of cardio exercise and are now hooked on the exercise for sure.....
1. The Warm Up
2. The Cardio Proper
After the warm up, you're now ready to go!
Even if you've done a proper warm up, you should still start slowly going into the exercise proper.
This allows your cardiovascular and respiratory system enough time to take in more oxygen and get your heart rate up to where you want it to be for most of the workout.
It'll take about 2-4 minutes for your body to meet the metabolic demand for more oxygen.
That's why it's important for you to start slow and gradually work up your speed. You'll then reach what is known as the steady state, a level you can maintain for a period of time.
At this level, your heart, lungs and cardiovascular system deliver oxygen to every part of your body and you're able to breathe comfortably and steadily.
It's therefore important to start cardio exercises slowly because if you don't start at an easy pace and work up gradually, your heart will not be able to keep up.
It takes time for your heart to increase its capacity to pump blood. It however doesn't require to take a long time for your heart to catch up with your cardio exercises.
You should do at least 20-30 minutes of cardio, within your target heart rate zone, so that you burn calories and improve your cardiovascular endurance (i.e. the ability of your heart to supply oxygen while you cardio for 20 -30 minutes without fatigue or discomfort).
Frequency refers to the number of cardio exercise sessions per week that you should do.
To improve/maintain your cardiovascular fitness and to reduce/maintain your body fat at optimum levels, you should exercise at least 3 times per week.
However, don't over-do it with 1 hour cardio for 6 days per week!
How you feel about your heart, brain, lungs, muscles, ligaments and tendons during exercise can go a long way to tell you the intensity of your workout.
These could be feelings like:
If you're experiencing any of these, it's best you decrease your intensity by applying less force with each movement, adjusting your range of motion by taking smaller steps and using smaller arm movements.
If you feel that you're not working hard enough, do the opposite and increase your rate by applying greater force to each movement, taking bigger steps and using larger arm movements.
And then there's a more systematic way to monitor your exercise intensity - by taking your heart rates during exercise, within the first 5 minutes of your exercise and just before the cool-down.
6. The Cool Down
7. The Final Stretch
This is stretch exercise done after your cardio workout which aims to promote flexibility and relaxation.
Your body is still warm from your exercise workout, so it's the best time to do the deep relaxing stretches.
Just isolate your individual muscle group (i.e. arms, legs, thighs, butts, shoulders, chest, back and etc.) and stretch it gently and slowly.