“Cardio” You’ve heard the word a thousand times but do you really know what it even means? It’s likely that you have your own definition for what it means.
Cardio is a fitness industry derived short form for “Cardiovascular Exercise”
Just about any activity you do that increases your heart rate beyond resting can be considered cardiovascular exercise.
From a scientific standpoint cardiovascular exercise is characterized by various adaptations that take place in your body such as:
Increase stroke volume (the amount of blood the heart can push with each pump)
Decreased resting blood pressure
Decreased resting heart rate (heart needs to beat less often because it can push more blood per beat as per increased stroke volume)
Increase capillary density (more of the tiny blood vessels that feed various target tissues)
Increase efficiency at delivering oxygen to target issues via increased capillary density
Increased exercise endurance (as per all above effects)
Increase red blood cell count
Helps many people reduce systemic stress
Lowers bad cholesterol
Increases good cholesterol
Increased insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake
And there are likely others that have slipped my mind…but you get the idea. Cardiovascular exercise is definitely beneficial for your overall health. You may have noticed that “fat burning” isn’t on this list…and that is because cardiovascular exercise alone cannot cause fat burning unless it’s combined with caloric control.
Yes it’s true that all forms of exercise burn more calories compared to sitting around doing nothing…but the amount of calories they burn is typically much less than most people think. And this is the bigger issue that most people are concerned with when it comes to ‘cardio’. Most people don’t give a s#!t about all the above mentioned health benefits of cardio…what they really want is to get lean.
In todays podcast we’ll discuss how important cardio really is for getting lean and how to approach it and incorporate it into your workout.
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