Cardiovascular exercise commonly referred to as cardio workout is any physical activity that will raise your heart rate. Let’s face it, our bodies are not formed to rest rather are made for constant movement, and that’s the reason our body remains in shape. Such movement keeps our muscles strong thus guaranteeing a healthy, active and athletic body. What cardio workout does is that during activity the blood in our capillaries deliver more oxygen to the cells of our muscles, which in turn enables these cells to burn fat rapidly.
Benefits of Cardio workouts
According to Mayo Clinic, cardio workouts host plenty of benefits for our body and aid in varying functions; be it weight loss, muscle building or improving health conditions. As detailed by the American Heart Association, repetitive and steady movements of arms and legs increase blood flow that helps fighting numerous ailments, prominent among those are: heart disease, cancer, arthritis and diabetes. Moreover, it plays a crucial role in reducing stress, increase bone density and strengthen lungs.
Best Cardio Workout for Abs
Rest assure behind every sculpted body in general and six packs in particular, there is a three step plan that includes: fat burning cardio, smart strength exercises and clean eating. It’s true that anything under the sun that keeps your heart pumping fast and place your heart at the targeted heart rate zone, can serve the purpose of cardio, but certain cardio workouts are designed to shape your abs in lesser time with visible results. With so many cardio exercises known to us, starting from swimming to running and from ice skating to bicycling, it becomes difficult to determine the best ones. Having consistency as the key for all cardio workouts, I’ve picked 5 best cardio workouts for toned abs.
It is one of those killer moves that reminds you of old days and is the most popular full body exercises that form an important part of strength training. Not only does it work on your entire body but it also accelerates your heart rate. Basically, it is a fusion of numerous exercises that must be a part of your regular cardio workouts. Indulge your body in doing 10 to 15 squat thrusts every 20 minutes or as per your body endurance. You can also add a few burpees at the end of your workout session. However, make sure you do it right and follow its universal four steps. Begin squat thrusts by standing tall and raising your both arms straight above your head. Now drop your hands on the ground in a squat or push up position. Extend your feet backwards and do a push-up. Immediately bring your feet back in and in one quick motion, stand having hands overhead. Keep on repeating the exercise that tends to work on your entire body. You can add more intensity to it by jumping as you stand up.
Another calorie-scorcher, jumping rope is ironically used rarely these days in cardio workouts. Not only is jumping rope fastest way of burning fats but also is a great way to attain muscular endurance. If performed regularly, this exercise helps in enhancing coordination and agility. According to a study, if a 145lb individual starts jumping rope for 30 minutes per day, he will for sure burn whopping 330 calories daily. It engages your body to the core and tones almost all abs. What you need to do is simply get hold of a jumping rope, preferably a leather one, and hold each of its handle in your both hands. By standing tall, swing the rope smoothly overhead. Start jumping so that the rope moves around your body in circles. Bring about variations in it by adding jumping jacks or high knees. Keep your workout duration shorter in the beginning such as 10-20 minutes and continue altering by increasing it. Jumping rope brings lots of convenience with it, such as, it is inexpensive, ideal companion while traveling, serves the purpose of a gym and brings about a nice change to your repeated monotonous cardio workouts pattern.
Swimming is a cardio workout that not only tones your entire body abs but also heralds no pain unlike other exercise programs such as weight lifting etc. It can be performed indoors as well outdoors, depending on the pool availability. It shapes your body amazingly, boost your endurance, improves cardiovascular health and aids immensely in building muscle mass. If you are a new comer to swimming cardio workouts then start with basic strokes followed by harder ones that complete more laps and rest a little between single lap. I’d recommended beginners to swim 10 to 25 yards consistently without any break accompanied by basic backstroke, treading water, crawl stroke, sculling as well as sitting dive. Beginner shall have a swimming session of 30 minutes that includes warm ups along with a cool down. Total distance for their workout must be 100 yards. As they reach to intermediate levels, their muscles will have more mass and flexibility, therefore they will be able to swim 75 yards nonstop for 30-45 minutes, performing side stroke, back stroke, breaststroke etc.
One of the core-engaging cardio workouts, mountain climbing a calisthenics exercise, finds no competitor in toning abs and sculpting body muscles. It works on your arms, legs, shoulders and core, strengthening them and there are lesser chances of inflicting an injury. Begin it with a push up position having shoulders exactly above your head. Now bring in your left or right knee while the other remains backward. Use your core, contract the abs and then switch legs. Continue the work out by changing legs and bringing your knees in. The faster you move your knees, the better it will prove for your cardio workout.
To add intensity to jogging, I strongly recommend to go for high knees. As simple as it sounds, what you need to do is to run in place while brining your knees high enough to be at par with your chest and pumping your arms in a quick fashion. It will remind you of a sprinting action but the key is the speed of lifting the knee and its height. Not only will it tone your arms and legs but also will help you in getting rid of stubborn tummy fat.
So, here you have it folks. Do not forget to follow these cardio workouts and share your experience with me.