Man and woman rowing at the gym

 

Getting fit is certainly a science and along with it, comes a whole load of jargon. “Cardio”, refers to cardiovascular activity – so any aerobic exercise that causes your heart rate to go up. The word often strikes fear into many as the source of all things pain but with so many benefits, it’s certainly worth the effort.

Doing cardio helps keep your heart strong and burns energy too so is ideal for maintaining a healthy weight. It also helps release those happy hormones (endorphins) so even though you might not enjoy the treadmill so much while you’re on it, you’ll often find you’ve perked up soon after.

 

What are the different types of cardio?

 

Low intensity, long duration

A stroll round the lake, a walk to the park, a short bike ride or a leisurely swim are all great ways of getting your heart rate up without giving your body too much of a shock. They are low impact activities and by doing these, you’ll be helping to reduce any strain on your joints too. A simple way of finding out whether what you’re doing is low intensity or not, is by trying to talk during the activity. If it’s too much to speak, then lower the pace to take it back down.

 

Medium intensity, medium duration

The next step up, medium intensity exercise means your heart rate is higher than what it is during low intensity workouts but isn’t so high that you feel the need to stop. This is ideal for those who have already built up their level of fitness and want to take things further. It’s great for fat burning and increasing aerobic capacity. Examples of this include a medium paced 5km run, a half hour bike ride or doing half an hour of lengths down at the pool.

 

High intensity, short duration

This is the most demanding form of training where your heart rate is working at around 80% of your maximum beats per minute (BPM). High intensity training is not designed to be done for long periods of time - you put your all in and then bring it back down, helping to increase endurance as well as speed up your metabolism and burn fat. Examples of this in training include High Intensity Interval Training which involves short sharp bursts of high intensity cardio training, interspersed with short periods of rest; circuit training and uphill sprints.

 

Cardio at home

There are lots of ways you can fit in your cardio training at home. Try these essential pieces of kit to get you off to a flying start:

 

Mirafit adjustable skipping ropes

Mirafit Adjustable Skipping Rope – Skipping ropes are great for cardio fitness.Put on your favourite playlist and off you go! Increase your workout each time to up your endurance. 


 

Black and green Mirafit stepperMirafit Step board – Steppers are great pieces of equipment because they’re so versatile. Use for jumps, quick steps, bunny hops, press ups and toe taps.




Model holding Mirafit Hula Hoop

Mirafit Hula Hoop – Get fit while wiggling your hips with this Mirafit weighted Hula Hoop. Fun and something a little bit different, it’s a great way of mixing things up.