Cardio is the abbreviation for cardiovascular, a term that refers to the cardiovascular system and, ultimately, to the heart. The term is used to define a type of physical activity, also called aerobics, that increases the heart rate and keeps it high for a certain period of time. Cardio fitness is therefore defined as a training session consisting of several high-frequency, aerobic exercises, to be carried out without interruption and using machines such as, for example:
- exercise bike
Let’s discover together the characteristics and benefits of cardio fitness training.
CARDIO FITNESS: HIGH-FREQUENCY TRAINING
There is a long list of health benefits for the body and mind associated with cardio fitness training.
To be beneficial, cardio fitness sessions must always have a duration and rhythm appropriate to the level of fitness of the practitioner: normally they can vary from a minimum of 30 to a maximum of 60 minutes.
To get the most out of a cardio fitness workout, it is necessary to understand what is the maximum heart rate for each practitioner, so as to work on the most suitable area, identified according to the training and performance objectives that have been set: for example, the training differs if we want to burn fat or warm up or even if we are interested in improving muscle strength.
HOW TO CALCULATE THE MAXIMUM HEART RATE FOR TRAINING WITH CARDIO FITNESS
The maximum heart rate is obtained through a mathematical calculation, subtracting your age to 226 (for women) and 220 (for men). Once this result is obtained, in order to identify the training zone, defined as the target heart rate zone, it is necessary to calculate 50-75% of the maximum heart rate, depending on the training level and the goals that each one has, as suggested by the American Heart Association.
AN EXAMPLE OF A CALCULATION OF THE TARGET HEART RATE ZONE
Here is an example to calculate the maximum heart rate and training zone, for example for a healthy man of 40 years, who has just begun to train with cardiofitness:
220-40 = 180 maximum heart rate
50% of 180 = 90 heartbeats per minute as the appropriate target heart rate of training.
A heart rate monitor is a useful tool during cardio fitness workouts as it monitors and facilitates calculation and, in most cases, allows you to set the target training area according to your personal needs, so as to make the training session easier.
A good rule to know if the pace with which you are training is correct during a cardiofitness circuit, is to be able to talk during the practice: if not, in fact, this will indicate that the heart rate of training is too high and it will therefore be necessary to slow down, so as not to tire the body unnecessarily, risking an injury.
THE BENEFITS OF CARDIO FITNESS
Cardio fitness, a high-frequency training circuit, has many benefits for the health of the body and mind:
- strengthens the heart
- increases lung capacity
- increases metabolism
- helps to lose weight
- tones up the muscles
- helps to reduce stress
- increases energy
- promotes sleep.
In particular, there are some studies that have demonstrated the effectiveness of this type of training in terms of health.
IMPROVES THE HEALTH OF THE HEART AND CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Aerobic exercise like cardio fitness is recommended by the American Heart Association because:
- strengthens the heart
- helps to reduce blood pressure
- lowers blood cholesterol levels.
REDUCES THE SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA
According to a study by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo in Brazil, aerobic exercise, such as cardiofitness, “as a therapy in addition to drug treatment” could improve the main characteristics of asthma, in particular reducing frequency and severity of the pathology.
HELP THE SLEEP
An American study confirms that insomnia sufferers can find benefits in cardio fitness. Concluding that: “Aerobic physical activity with sleep hygiene education is an effective therapeutic approach to improve the quality of sleep, mood and quality of life in the elderly with chronic insomnia.
STRENGTHENS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University conducted a study on sports women and sedentary women in relation to physical exercise on their immune system.
Participants were divided into 3 groups:
- a group with training on treadmills
- another group with high intensity explosive (weight type) training
- the last group didn’t do any training.
All women underwent regular blood tests and the results at the end of the study showed that regular aerobic exercise, such as cardiofitness, increases immunoglobulin, strengthening the immune system. However, the group of sedentary women had no improvement and showed levels of cortisol, an indicator of stress, higher than the other two groups.
HELPS MAINTAIN STABLE WEIGHT
Cardio fitness workouts can help you lose weight and keep it stable. In a study published in 2012, researchers asked overweight patients to include intensive cardio training sessions, 5 times a week, for 10 months, keeping their diets unchanged. The results showed significant weight loss.
IMPROVES COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS
Scientists at the Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, have found that aerobic exercise, such as cardiofitness, can slow down the loss of cognitive performance inherent in advancing age, with benefits for brain health.
Cardio fitness exercise is good for your mood: in a study of individuals suffering from depression, all participants were walked on treadmills for 30-minute daily sessions. After 10 days of study, experts found that aerobic exercise can produce a substantial improvement in mood in patients with major depressive disorders in a short time.
In conclusion, therefore, we can say that performing cardio-type physical activity, such as cardio fitness for example, for at least 30 minutes 3 to 5 days a week can bring countless benefits. The family doctor can help to identify the training guidelines that best suit the physical needs, goals and last but not least, the level of fitness of each individual.
UniSalute, with Family Protection, allows you to monitor your state of health by carrying out, under the convention, blood tests, cardiological examinations, exercise electrocardiograms and ecodoppler of the supra aortic trunks. In addition, the policy includes a consultation with the indication of a personalized path to improve nutrition and physical activity. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to take care of the whole family?