What is Cardio? What is Cardiovascular Training?

Cardio…it's a term you hear quite a bit in the fitness world. What exactly IS cardio, though?

Cardio is a term that is short for cardiovascular, and when used on it's own, it's generally being used to reference a "cardiovascular workout." "Hey, did you do your cardio today?"

Why would one want to do a cardiovascular workout? Generally, the thought is that a cardiovascular workout burns fat and calories, and helps you get into better shape. That's good for fat loss, right?


A cardiovascular workout (or cardio) does MANY good things for your body. First, when you train at a certain heart rate (and there ARE different levels for your heart rate in training…conditioning heart rate, fat-burning heart rate, etc.), you can achieve certain things…fat loss, calorie burning, conditioning.

The VERY best thing you do when you do cardio is work your very favorite muscle in your body…your heart.

You see, most folks are judged to be "in shape" based on the shape (fitness level) of their hearts. So, if you train (do cardio), your heart will become better conditioned, and so many things will become easier for you, too.

Climbing a flight of stairs, running to catch the train or bus, running for pleasure…with a little cardio, all of these things will become much easier, and definitely much more fun, too. And chances are, you'll live longer, your cholesterol will be lower, and overall…you'll just be more healthy.


Is cardio then just running?


Cardio can be walking, it can be biking, it can be roller blading, an aerobic video or class, kayaking…it can really be anything that brings your heart rate up (aside from stress or being scared suddenly, of course).


Some of the best cardio training is done with weights.

These cardio workouts can maximize not only your fat-burning potential (because let's be honest…we WANT our heart to be healthy, but we WANT to look good, too), but also your ability to have those nice lean, toned muscles that we all want.

AND, a benefit to building your muscles up (ladies, don't worry…it takes LOADS of weight and work to get big muscles, so don't be afraid of weight training) is this…the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn even when you're doing nothing at all.



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