Sometimes we can become so focused on weightlifting, we forget to add a proper cardio regimen – Or are too tired too. Cardio can be anything we want it to be… A jog around the park, a walk, cycling classes at the gym, dance, swimming, or sports such as basketball, tennis, or soccer. Here are three reasons to add a cardio slant to your overall workout, as it benefits not only your mind, but also your body…
Improved heart health – One of the main parts of your body that will benefit from a cardiovascular routine is your heart. Experts – namely the American College of Sports Medicine, among others – say that most people should work at about 55 to 65 percent of their maximum heart rate during their workouts. And they should operate at this level for a good 20 minutes to an hour at least three times a week to see the effects. To find your target heart rate, one must take 220 minus your current age and then multiply this number by .55 or .65 to find your target rate for the 55-65% range of your maximum heart rate.
Cuts down recovery time – For bodybuilders and novice weightlifters alike, a cardio regimen can actually help to cut down recovery and repair time for your muscles. The cardio that is necessary to receive these effects tend to be moderately paced, less intensive forms of exercise, such as a short jog on the treadmill or light elliptical work following an intense weightlifting session. In essence, this will bring more oxygen rich blood to the muscle tissue and help you to rebuild, reinvigorate, and repair much more quickly than if you’d just done weightlifting by itself.
Increases metabolism – High intensity cardio can help the user to get to an “anaerobic zone” of training. What this does is it will create what’s known as oxygen debt. Your body will then work hard to increase oxygen intake after the workout is complete in order to restore the proper oxygen levels to the body. Thus, the stronger your cardio workout session, the more oxygen your body will use. Eventually, your cardiovascular system will improve, and along with it, your metabolism rate will increase in order to help sustain it for the long haul.