If you're a weight-training enthusiast, no doubt you know the benefits to be gained from building strong muscles. But, is cardio training part of your workout, too? If it's not, you should consider adding it to your routine. Weight training paired with cardiovascular workouts provides a nearly perfect combination for keeping you fit and healthy. Let's look at seven reasons to add cardio training to your workout.
Cardio training is good for your heart - The increased heart rate you will achieve during your cardio workout will improve the condition of your heart and lungs, by training your heart to pump more blood in fewer beats and your lungs to move more oxygen with less effort. The improvement you will gain in your cardiovascular health will reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Aim for 30-60 minutes at least 3 days a week in order to achieve the best results for improving your heart.
Cardio training will help improve muscle mass - Yes, it's true - You need strength training to gain muscle, but the thirty minutes you spend on those elliptical trainers will help improve your muscle mass, too, especially if you combine the two as part of an interval training program. By going back and forth between cardio training and weight training, you are working your muscles and then letting them relax several times during a workout, which will improve your ability to build that great toned look. In addition, regular aerobic exercise causes the capillaries in your muscles to grow, which helps them to remove waste, such as lactic acid, from your body more easily. This will help improve the health of your muscles, and reduce muscle soreness after your workout.
Cardio Training Burns Fat - Adding four thirty minute cardio sessions a week to your current training schedule will help you rev up your fat burning capability. The fat loss you will see will help your toned muscles be even more noticeable.
Cardio Training Revs Up Your Metabolism - In addition to the fat you will burn during your workout, regular cardiovascular training will boost your metabolism for hours after your workout, too, helping you to maximize fat loss all day long.
Your Immune System Can Improve - People who spend thirty minutes in cardiovascular exercise at least three times a week are less likely to catch colds and other viral illnesses. It is believed that aerobic exercise improves your immune system, making it better able to fight off infection.
Your Mental State Will Improve - Cardio training causes your brain to release endorphins, the body's natural high. Endorphins act as natural painkillers and stress reducers.
You Are Likely To Live Longer - The New England Journal of Medicine has found a direct link between regular exercise and longevity.
What Cardio Training Is Best?
So, now that I've convinced you that you need cardio training, just what kind of cardio training is best? Well, most experts agree that running provides the best aerobic exercise bang for the buck, in terms of fat burning. Plus, running strengthens your legs better than most other aerobic exercise. Another benefit is that, other than a good pair of shoes, no special equipment is required for running, and you can do it virtually anywhere. Experts recommend that you begin with 20-minute sessions and work your way up to 30-40 minute runs. However, running does have its disadvantages. It's particularly hard on the knees, making it a difficult sport to continue, as you get older. There are several other cardiovascular exercises that provide great benefit for those of us who don't handle running very well.
Elliptical trainers seem to be one of the best options for those whose knees can't handle running. Elliptical machines provide the same great cardio benefit, but without all the stress on the knees. There are many great trainers to choose from, and you can find elliptical trainer reviews on many fitness websites.
Whatever type of cardiovascular training you choose, you are sure to see an increased benefit in your health and fitness by adding aerobic exercise to your regimen. With just a little extra effort added to your workout, you should see noticeable results in no time!
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Mike Singh is a fitness instructor and writer, who
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