Exercising to build muscle, creating a great physique or competing for bragging rights over friends are great motivations to get active, cardio can sometimes be overlooked. Though most adult men enjoy the physical nature of sports and building muscle, cardio needs to be done regularly as it benefits our heart health, immune system, the way our bodies look on the outside as well as the way it feels on the inside.
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Cardio is a form of aerobic exercise that can range from low to high intensity. If you are playing a sport consisting of running, low endurance walking, or aerobic exercise, your cardiovascular system is getting its fair share of benefits. However, if you’re lifting heavy weights, playing sports that don’t incorporate a lot of cardio, then the below 9 cardio exercises are perfect for you.
1. Running or jogging
This exercise is known to be the easiest, or simplest but also one of the most effective. What makes walking and running arguably the best cardio exercise is that anyone can do it, and you can do it at whatever intensity you like. If you’re looking to burn a lot of calories, running may be better. If you’re trying to get your body tones, joints, muscles and bones to be stronger, walking should do the trick.
2. Jump squat
Jump squats are great because not only does it bring up your heart rate and help you break into a good sweat, it also strengthens all the muscles in your legs, makes them more flexible as well as improving your core. Jump squats can be done at home, at the gym and also outdoors.
With the sun beating down on us daily, going for a swim as a form of cardio exercise is a no brainer. Not only does it cool you down, but just like walking, can be done at any intensity that suits you best. It loosens your joints, pushes all of your muscles as well as making you more aerobic.
Apart from its calorie-burning intensity, cycling also develops core strength as well as strength in your leg muscles. If you’re looking to soak up some vitamin D, cycling outdoors is a convenient way to get around as well as staying in shape.
Boxing is one of the only sports that even when you aren’t doing it at a high intensity, chances are your sweating instantly. Boxing is not only great for boosting your cardiovascular system, but it develops strength from head to toe as well as making your body more flexible and loose.
6. Jump rope
When done correctly, jump rope can be even more intense than cycling or running. Jump rope helps to develop calf muscles, core strength, and develop your stamina. Jump rope is also a great exercise option as it also improves your reaction timing.
7. Climbing the stairs
Though climbing the stairs may be boring, you’ll notice its a work out in itself. Climbing the stairs triggers all the muscles in your legs as well as your entire body to carry yourself higher and higher. It will help to develop leg muscles as well as body balance.
8. Ball sports
Any ball sports that encourage you to run, move, or stretch out your joints is great for cardio. Soccer, basketball, tennis, cricket, and rugby are all excellent examples of cardio exercise in ball sports.
9. Superset weightlifting
This is nothing different from standard weightlifting. The only difference is that you’re doing it at a higher intensity. Even though it may not be a traditional form of cardio exercise as opposed to the above, supersets at the gym encourage you to target more than one muscle group at a time while taking shorter rest periods.
Cardio exercises can be extremely demanding on your muscles, joints, bones, and reflexes. If you suffer from diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease or osteoporosis, you need to seek professional advice before you can start changing your physical exercise routine.
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