Cardio has been a thing for more than 50 years. Ever since Dr. Kenneth Cooper published “Aerobics” in 1968, people have been talking about how much and what type of cardio you need to be healthy. Dr. Cooper has “written 18 more books since, but this was the one that set the course, the plan and the theory that led to the popularity of running as well as arguably to every spin class, step class, Latin dance class, aqua exercise class, obstacle-course run, boot camp workout and high intensity interval training (HIIT).”
He was one of the first to teach what we all know now…exercise is medicine.
In the last 50 years, we’ve experienced the birth of the fitness culture and watched cardio morph from aerobics classes to exercise videos to the daily run to spin classes to fitbits.
How Much Cardio?
Which brings us to the next question. How much cardio is enough? For the most part, that’s going to depend on what you want to accomplish and what your starting point is. However, “according to the recommendations from The American College of Sports Medicine and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we should be aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiorespiratory exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity, or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity exercise per week.”
The benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise are well documented. They include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Better sleep
- Stronger immune system
- Elevated mood fueled by endorphins
- Improved brain function and memory
- Reduced risk of dementia
- Weight loss and weight maintenance
- Reduced risk of diabetes and heart attack
- Stronger bones
- Healthier, younger-looking skin
So the only question left is what cardio workout is right for you? Classes like spin or bachata? The ubiquitous treadmill? An elliptical machine for low impact aerobics? Or the most intense cardio of all, high intensity interval training? Interval training operates on the principle of adaptation by alternating short, high-intensity efforts with recovery phases.
HIIT Workout vs. Endurance Training
Researchers at the University of New Mexico and Central Michigan University made an extensive comparison of current research on high intensity interval training (HIIT) and endurance training (the act of exercising to increase endurance). They report, “As the knowledge of HIIT increased, exercise scientists demonstrated that this type of exercise not only provides performance benefits for athletes and improves the health of recreational exercisers, but it may also be a suitable alternative to endurance training, or continuous aerobic exercise. To improve cardiovascular fitness the belief has always been to increase the volume of exercise, whether it’s longer runs, bike rides, or extended time on an aerobic machine (e.g., stairstepper, elliptical, cycle, treadmill). The breadth of current research has revealed that HIIT improves numerous physiological parameters, often in less time when measured against high volume continuous exercise.”
At Resilient Fitness, we understand the benefits of intensive cardio workouts and provide a variety of state-of-the-art cardio equipment. We provide you with number options for both endurance training and high intensity interval training. Our popular “Holy HIIT” classes are available several times a week. In Holy Hiit you will give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short active recovery periods.
For high intensity interval training on your own, one of our most popular machines is the Assault Airbike. With an average Google review of 4.9, the Assault Airbike is the hands-down favorite with people who want the best interval workout possible. One reviewer said, “I hate this bike so much, I ride it every single day…because it makes you a monster.” The airbike automatically ramps up resistance as you pedal with greater speed, providing an unlimited, personalized workout, creating the perfect love-hate relationship.
For endurance training, you can give spin classes a try. Or if you want a break from the treadmill, consider using the elliptical machine. It offers the benefit of a low-impact workout while exercising both your upper and lower body. It’s easy on the joints and gives you a good aerobic workout.
Get Into The Gym
Cardiovascular training is a must. The only question for you is what type of workout you will use. A HIIT workout will push you with interval training and our cardio machines will give you a steady pace of endurance training. Whatever you decide, get into the gym. We’ll help you figure out what is best for you.