Which form of cardio is best for you?

Cardio, lean mass, Mental health, weight loss, workouts -

Which form of cardio is best for you?

If you are into fitness or are trying to lose weight, then you probably do or have heard of cardio. If you are not familiar with cardio, then this refers to an aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing rate and improves your lungs heart and circulatory system. This includes exercises like running and bike riding. Although not everyone may like cardio training its essential to maintain a healthy body, good for fitness and is great for weight management. You may find yourself spending hours on the treadmill and still are seeing no results. If this is the case, then you need to be asking is this the right cardio for you? If you are unsure what form of cardio you should be doing, then look no further as in this article we are going to be going over different forms of cardio and how they can help you reach your fitness goals. 

Types of cardio is placed into three categories. These categories are ranged in terms of impact with the ground. 
High impact cardio – This involves both feet being off the ground at one time. An example would include running, dancing, or jumping. 
Low impact – These forms of cardio involve one foot always being placed on the ground. For example, these could include jogging, walking or any workouts like that. 
Non – impact – These forms of cardio involve neither your hands nor feet being placed on the ground. Examples of these can include cycling and swimming. 
One thing we need to remember is these categories do not define the intensity of the workout but the impact your body will have with the ground. For example, swimming can be a very physically demanding exercise but falls in the non – impact category, whereas jumping is less physically demanding and is classed as high impact. 
As well as these categories there are different intensity classes, we can put exercises into. These include:
Steady state cardio- This involves doing the activity for a long period of time at a consistent pace. This type of cardio is usually low intensity and examples can include walking, steady jog or a long bike ride. 
Interval training – This involves doing a low intensity workout mixed with a higher intensity workout. This is great for burning calories and get your heart racing. An example would be jumping rope followed by cycling. 
Circuit training – This involves selecting a few different workouts and rotating between them. This means you are doing one after another with minimal rest. 

Running

Well everyone has done it at some point in their life and it is the most common form of cardio. If you haven’t guesses already then yes, we are talking about running. This type of cardio is probably the easiest to do and is usually done at a moderate pace. Although this is good for burning calories running at a moderate pace can become boring and isn’t good for muscle mass maintenance. Running is also known to help build strong bones and increasing fitness levels. If steady pace running is not your thing then you could try doing it at a higher intensity or try a HIIT session. A more effective and efficient way of running would be doing it at a higher intensity e.g. sprinting. 

Cycling 

Cycling is a very effective cardio workout and has the potential to burn 400 calories per hour. Cycling is also known to strengthen leg muscles like glutes and hips and is gentler on your feet when compared to running. Riding a bike can also promote muscle gain in your legs which is good for fat burning in the long run. Although being low intensity there are a few ways we can make cycling more exciting, these include riding up an incline or going on long scenic bike rides. 

Jumping rope 

Jumping rope has been used as a form of cardio in boxing for a while. There are a few main reasons for this like it enhances coordination, increases foot speed, and burns a ton of calories. As well as being a great calorie burner this form of cardio can also improve concentration as the littlest slip up could end with you wrapping yourself up in a skipping rope. There is also many different variations for this cardio that can be done so it is less likely to get boring and there is always a new challenge. The beauty of this form of cardio is that it can be done anywhere, there is no need for any expensive bikes or big open spaces all that’s required is a rope and hard work.

Rowing 

Rowing is a form of cardio that seems to be underrated by many people. If you look at a professional rower’s physique, one thing that stands out is there toned arms and muscular backs, this is because rowing is a great exercise for your upper body and is known to increase upper body strength. As well as having resistive training effects this form of cardio is relatively low stress on joints and ligaments. You may be thinking rowing equipment can be expensive and is too big to keep, but we can see the same effects on a rowing machine. The rowing machine will also let you increase the resistance of the rope if you want to engage them muscles a bit more. Rowing is also an exercise that can eat up calories as it has a high after burn effect and is a high intensity activity. At moderate effort, a 150 lb man can burn roughly 400 calories per hour rowing. 

Swimming

This is a low impact form of cardio and is great to raise your heart rate. Swimming is also good for muscle growth and builds strength. Its is also a full body workout as it incorporates all your major muscle groups, this can also lead to improved flexibility, balance, and coordination. Swimming is also a big calorie burner as a 130-pound person can burn around 500 calories swimming at a moderate rate. Although not everyone may know how to swim its worth leaning as this is a very effective form of cardio. 
Although in this article we have only gone over a few forms of cardio there are many more you could be considering doing. Here we have just gone over the most common forms of cardio but there are many more equally effective ones. If doing a cardio workout on its own does not appeal to you try doing a sport that involves a lot of cardio. Examples of these can include rugby, football and boxing, as well as staying fit there are many more benefits to playing team sports.