You were certainly asked one day, if you had good cardio! Do you know what it means and how to improve it?

First, any form of exercise is cardiovascular if it increases the heart rate. This is explained by an increased heart rate and faster breathing. A simple activity such as walking can be considered a cardio activity. If the activity involves several important muscles, this will increase the demand for oxygen and accelerate the rhythm of the cardiovascular system.

Sophie Lalonde-Mathers

Why is it important to do cardio?

While keeping your heart healthy, practicing cardiovascular activities will decrease the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. You should not forget the benefits that cardiovascular activities will bring to your soul, such as a better mood and a lower level of stress and anxiety.

Should we do 30-minute sessions to improve your cardiovascular endurance?

It is suggested that you do cardio at least three times a week for 30 minutes to improve your cardiovascular endurance. However, if doing 30 minutes of activity discourages you or if you are short on time, it has been shown that three 10-minute sessions a day provide the same benefits as a 30-minute continuous physical activity session.

Should we do interval or continuous training?

Continuous training can be explained by maintaining the same intensity throughout the activity. As for interval training, the intensity will vary throughout the workout. There will be a high intensity phase alternating with a low intensity recovery phase. Interval training will allow you to effectively develop your cardiovascular capacity compared to continuous training, and thus achieve results faster.

Consider continuous training if you are a beginner

Interval training require more demand for joints, muscles, tendons and cardiovascular endurance. It is important to encourage continuous training if you are a beginner, and to integrate the intervals gradually without «skipping the steps».

Should you use the heart rate?

Using the heart rate is not essential, the perception of the effort felt is a subjective, but effective tool to determine the intensity zone. To improve your cardio, you must feel an effort, a slight shortness of breath, while being able to speak.

In short, doing cardiovascular training does not have to be long and complicated. The most important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy doing!

Sophie Lalonde-Mathers
Special contributor
Kinesiologist at Centre Multisports

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VIVA média

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