How to Improve Your Cardio Fitness

Blog Author
Harry Longworth
Date of post
2 February 2024
Blog Category

No matter what your intention is when working out, you should always find a way to implement cardio into your workout routine. Cardio refers to any activity which increases your heart rate, thus engaging your cardiovascular system. 

Cardio is proven to improve the efficiency of your heart, lungs and circulatory system by increasing oxygen consumption and circulation throughout the body. It also enhances endurance and stamina, helps with weight management and fat loss and reduces the risk of diseases like heart disease, obesity and diabetes. As well as benefiting your physical health, it can also help your mental health by improving your overall mood and mental well-being. 

Examples of cardio include running, cycling, swimming, dancing, rowing, or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). Now you know what cardio is and why it’s good for you, let’s chat about how to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Many people struggle to incorporate effective cardio routines into their lives. Whether you’re a fitness pro, or a complete novice, improving your cardio fitness is always within reach. Here’s some ways that you can improve your cardio fitness:

START SLOWLY

Implementing a cardio routine can be daunting, especially if it’s completely new to you. So start slowly. Begin with low-impact activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming. Aim for at least 30 minutes of low to moderate-intensity cardio at least a couple days a week, then build it up. You should be doing around 30 minutes of moderate cardio every day. But this takes time. As your stamina improves, gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. 

MIX IT UP

Consistency is key in all of this, so find activities or exercises that you enjoy. If you don’t like running, try a HIIT class. If swimming isn’t for you, why not try the bike? When you find something you enjoy, cardio won’t feel like a chore. Incorporate a mix of aerobic exercises to engage different parts of the body and to prevent boredom. Keep it fresh and exciting. 

SET REALISTIC GOALS

Setting specific achievable goals is essential for progress. Whether it’s completing a 5k race or increasing your cycling distance, establish clear objectives to strive towards. You can do this by breaking down your larger goals into smaller milestones, celebrating each accomplishment along the way. Track your progress too! You can do this using a fitness app, a wearable tracker or just by noting it down on your phone. 

STAY HYDRATED AND FUEL YOUR BODY

Proper hydration is crucial for cardiovascular health and performance. Drink water before, during, and after exercise to replenish lost fluids and maintain electrolyte balance. It’s equally as important to fuel your body with a healthy balanced diet. Prioritise nutrient-dense foods and carbohydrates to provide sustainable energy for when you’re doing your cardio. 

RECOVERY IS IMPORTANT

Rest and recovery are integral components of any fitness regimen. Allow your body ample time to recover between workouts to prevent burnout and injury. Incorporate stretching, foam rolling, and gentle yoga to improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness. Adequate sleep and nutrition are equally important for optimal recovery and performance.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY 

Above all, listen to your body and honour its signals. Pay attention to how you feel during and after exercise and feel free to adjust your intensity and duration accordingly. If you experience pain or discomfort, consult a healthcare professional to address any underlying issues. Remember, fitness is a journey, and progress is measured not only by physical gains but also by improved well-being and vitality.

Improving cardio fitness is a journey that requires dedication, patience, and perseverance. By incorporating a variety of cardio activities, setting realistic goals, and prioritising recovery, will help you improve your cardio fitness. Embrace the process, celebrate the small wins, and enjoy the power of cardio exercise on your mind, body, and spirit.

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