Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or improve your general fitness levels, cardio is a must for your workout routine. But with so many different types of cardio, how do you know which ones to choose? Let's take a closer look at the various types of cardio workouts and machines so that you can choose what's right for you.
Cardio is vital for keeping your heart healthy and managing your weight and mood. The great thing is, it doesn't have to be boring or feel like a chore. The key is to discover a type of cardio workout that feels fun.
If you love getting your groove on, then you will be delighted to hear that dancing is an excellent form of cardio workout. Join a dance class and learn a new skill, or find an exercise class based on dance, such as Zumba.
If you have a competitive nature, then you may prefer to play a sport. There are loads to choose from, including football, tennis, hockey, rugby, squash, basketball, and badminton. The great thing about joining a team-based sport such as football is that you'll make new friends while getting fit.
Seen as the classic cardio workout, running can encompass anything from power walking to jogging to training for a marathon. The great thing about running is that you can do it outside in nature, alone or with others in a running club, and all you need is a pair of supportive running shoes to get started.
Swimming is an excellent option for all-round fitness, and for those who have joint issues because it is very low-impact. The downside is that you need to have access to a pool. Most gyms have them, but if yours doesn't, check your local authority's website for details of your nearest municipal pool.
If you love the great outdoors, then cycling may be the type of cardio workout for you. Cycling works mainly on lower body strength along with cardiovascular fitness. Go solo or join a cycling club for a more social aspect to your exercise routine.
There are four different types of cardio machines for you to choose from at your gym.
The treadmill is the classic running machine. You can set the speed from a slow walk to a sprint, depending on your fitness level and what type of training you want to do. Usually, you can change the gradient too, which is the incline of the running surface.
Also known as an elliptical trainer, this machine mimics walking and running, without putting pressure on the joints. A cross trainer is comparable to a treadmill workout in terms of cardio fitness and leg muscle exertion but has a reduced risk of injury.
All the benefits of cycling but without leaving the room. Stationary bikes increase cardiovascular fitness and leg strength. Many gyms have spinning classes - instructor-led, cycling-based exercise classes to music. The instructor will guide you on a journey that simulates an outdoor cycle by changing your bike's intensity.
Rowing machines simulate the action used when rowing a boat. A rowing machine workout is a comprehensive full-body workout that burns 600-800 calories an hour.
The key to getting the most out of your exercise routine is to find a type of cardio workout you enjoy. Try the different types of cardio machines at your gym, and some of the workouts we have suggested and test out what works best for you.
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