Are you tired of coughing up your lungs after 5 minutes of running? To be out of breath after climbing the 4 floors of your building? The concern: your cardio! And you want good news? If you don’t have poorly treated asthma, lung or heart disease, and if you don’t smoke 1 pack of cigarettes a day, anyone, at any age, can improve their cardio!
In this article, I tell you how!
What is cardio?
To put it simply, cardio training is an exercise that makes raise your heart and breathing rate.
It is thus based on your body’s ability to use oxygen during a training session and thus allows you to work your heart, your lungs and improve your circulatory system.
The advantage of cardio sport is that it adapts to all desires and all schedules. There isn’t just one way to spend. Whether outdoors, at the gym, or even at home, it’s easy to do cardio sessions and start feeling the benefits.
Why work on your cardio?
The first thing you think of when talking about the benefits of cardio is weight loss. So certainly, it is very effective when it comes to burning calories, but to sum it up only to that would be far too simplistic! There are so many other considerable advantages such as your own goals like running faster for example!!
Ensure your health
In general, regular sport helps to reduce the risk of disease cardiovascular, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, cancers…
Thanks to cardio in particular, your heart, your lungs and your muscle cells will also progress:
Your heart will get a little bigger and more powerful, to send more blood throughout the body with each beat. Blood vessels will be more efficients. Your lungs will learn to open more deeply to allow better oxygenation. Your muscle cells will better manage oxygen and you will be less out of breath…..
Combined with a balanced diet and muscle building, cardio allows you to keep in optimal shape for as long as possible.
Boost your mood
It also has a real regulatory role on our emotions. I often say that sport is the best antidepressant in the world, and I firmly believe in it! There is nothing better to fight against stress and blues. When we activate, the body releases endorphins, the famous hormones of happiness. They provide an immediate pleasure effect and analgesicsimilar to that of morphine.
Increase your athletic performance
By practicing a cardio activity on a regular basis, you will thus:
On the mental level too, each workout will take you on a virtuous circle that will boost your self-confidence: progress, push your limits, forge a mind of steel… You will realize that you are stronger, more persevering than you thought and you will want to give even more the next time!
To make this cardio machine progress, no secret, you have to train it. Push her a little, then get her back. Gradually, it will adapt to the effort and build more enduring!
Vary the paces
To progress effectively, it is important to complement moderate-intensity efforts with high-intensity efforts.
For this, you can try interval training. The idea is to favor short sessions but to cut them out by alternating phases of intense effort and rest, always having a time of intense effort greater than the recovery time.
By varying the rhythms in this way, you will shake up the body and make the heart, lungs and muscle metabolism progress even more effectively.
And yes my captain! Well, it’s clearly not a state secret, but as with everything, regularity is the key! It is better to train a little but more often rather than once every 6 months and in an ultra-intense way! Building a strong body and a healthy heart is a long-term job, which is not just done in a few weeks!
Take the time to set up a real sports routine, with sports goals that suit you and really motivate you!
Track your heart rate
A heart rate monitor lets you track your cardio progress and make your training sessions more structured. Thanks to it, you will have a more concrete idea of the intensity at which you should work. This will let you know when you can go harder or when to slow down.
If you follow me regularly, you already know it but personally I use the Withings ScanWatch! He is a real health partner who accompanies me in each of my sports sessions.
Find an activity that excites you
Basic yes, but so important!
Remember one thing: we progress especially when we have fun !
Maybe we suffer the first times and the first physical sensations are not always pleasant. We quickly get hot, we sweat, we run out of breath… but as the training progresses, we appreciate moving more and more! Sometimes you have to hold on and do violence to yourself, but it’s always worth it.
The cardio sport par excellence? Running! I grant you, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea! To improve your skills you can also try:
It’s up to you to test, and find what will make you vibrate!
4 exercises to increase your breath at home
The exercises I’m going to show you can help improve cardio-respiratory endurance, build muscle, and burn calories. You can perform these movements very well at home or add them to your training program if you wish!
Exercise 1: burpees
- Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down and place your hands on the ground in front of you, flat on the ground.
- While doing a small jump, stretch your legs backwards to get into a plank.
- Place your knees on the floor, then your chest on the floor.
- Then push the ground back with your hands to get back into plank.
- Bring your feet towards your arms to return to a squat position.
- As you jump, raise your arms above your head, return to a standing position.
- Repeat the movement.
If you are a beginner, you can skip the jumps. You will add them when you are comfortable with the movement and you will gain speed.
Exercise 2: jump squats
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Bend your knees as far as possible in a squat position while making sure to keep your heels on the ground and your back straight.
- From this position, jump up in the air so that your whole body is tense.
- To avoid injury, try to cushion the landing as much as possible.
- Repeat the movement.
This is a high impact exercise, especially on the knees, be careful if you are a beginner or have a knee injury.
Exercise 3: trampling
Also known as “tipping”, this movement consists in trampling more or less quickly on the spot.
- Position yourself with your legs bent.
- Lean your chest slightly forward.
- Place your elbows slightly back, as if you were going to run.
- Lift your heels slightly off the ground and run in place, taking small steps.
Throughout the exercise, be sure to contract the abdominals!
Exercise 4: skipping rope
At the time, it was the star of playgrounds… Today I consider skipping rope to be one of the most complete exercises!
Inexpensive, easily transportable and within everyone’s reach, it is super effective for training your heart, your lungs and can be practiced in many different ways: on one foot, alternating with crossing, raising your knees…
Warning : twist the rope with your wrists (not your arms)) and try to land softly! And try a jump rope program to boost your heart.
Example of a training circuit
Here is an example of a circuit that uses these 4 exercises and that will allow you to effectively solicit the cardiovascular system. After your warm-up, repeat the 3x in a row :
To challenge you and work even more intenselytry to breathe only through your nose!
What are the indicators of improvement?
Listen to your body
Pay attention to your feelings, that’s the most reliable thing! We know when we have progressed from the moment when we feel more comfortable in our effort: we feel less feelings of discomfort, we can last longer and go stronger in intensity.
Measure your progress
If you run regularly it may go through a timer. Calculate your time over a certain distance, you can easily see your progress. You can also simply write at the end of each session your feelings (negative as well as positive), note the difficulty or your level of fatigue on a scale of 1 to 10.
The questions I see regularly
3 videos to start working on your cardio
Hardcore Cardio – Ultimate Burner
My intense jump rope routine – Cardio 15 min
Full body session – Gentle on the knees