Cardio Exercises

Cardio Exercises

Cardiovascular workouts are nearly always associated with boring, on a treadmill or jogging around the streets - not the healthiest places to workout.

Cardiovascular exercise plays an essential part in protecting us against heart-disease, the UK's biggest killer make fitness fun

Cardio work though can also be achieved by mixing variation in your running regime.

If you want to get and maintain an athletic frame covered in lean muscle, then a healthy balance of cardiovascular exercise and resistance training is the answer.

To avoid things becoming a chore try some of these alternatives.

Five-a-side football

Good for improving your level of oxygen intake. Due to the constantly changing pace of the game can really help restore and boost your basic cardio levels

Exercise is easier to maintain if you are having fun, so what about smashing some footballs past your mate in goal during a session of five a side. With venues all over the country catering for five-a-side with indoor and outdoor pitches its easy to get a bunch of your mates together and let the inner Rooney or Messi out. So while you dream of footballing glory your heart is getting a great workout.

Calorie burn: 800 an hour

Squash

Few activities can match the cardiovascular benefits of squash, a game that requires bursts of speed and high levels of fitness to cope with the intensity of long rallies dashing round the court. Squash is a good, intense game that will really push your cardiovascular system.

But remember before going on court warm up with leg stretches as this will allow you to move more freely on the court and ensure your backside and thighs don't dispense a dollop of pain the next day.

Calorie burned: 900 an hour

Spinning

Riding a stationary bike and pedaling away might not seem any less boring than running round local park, but spinning is now a much more focused form of exercise since it's early days. The better gyms hook you up to a heart rate monitor and get you to move between varying heart rates zones, as this type of specific upping and downing of intensity is exactly what you need to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Calories burned in an hour: 600-700

Walking

Maybe not the most intense of activities, but it's still something you should certainly consider especially if you have an aversion to exercise or are starting your fitness programme. But it's main appeal is it gets you out of the gym and into the great outdoors meaning you don't really feel like you're being made to work to improve your health. Walking will get your heart rate up, and if you inter space the walk with a few vigorous spurts it will burn more calories.

Calorie burn: 500 an hour

Swimming

Swimming is an excellent all-round workout. Just because you are not feeling the sweat pouring off you, doesn't mean you're not getting a good cardiovascular workout.

Swimming is great for maintaining your basic level of cardio fitness, and if you are suffering from any joint problems that are restricting your running, because it's a low impact exercise you will usually be able to continue your exercise regime. Swimming also allows you to control the level of intensity most of the time, while also being aerobic, which makes it good at burning fat.

Calorie burn: 800 an hour


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