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Home » Fitness

Whats The Best Cardio Workout?

Submitted by on July 19, 2009 – 2:43 pmNo Comment

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Doing cardio workouts benefits many people, some might be looking to lose weight or tone up, others are training for sports or jobs and some people just do it just for love. But what is the best cardio workout? Is it better to run for a long period of time or in short bursts? I will answer these questions and more through the article, but first lets take a look at the most popular types of cardio workouts.

Running

Seems simple enough right? But is this the best cardio workout to lose weight and burn fat? Lets see what running will offer our bodies in the long run(no pun intended)

  • Great for Lowering cholesterol – which can decrease the chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
  • Slows the aging process – by putting stress on your bones and muscles your body has to adapt and is forced to work harder and stay in peak shape, which helps with stronger bones and slowing down osteoporosis.
  • Strong healthy lungs – When your running your lungs are working much harder then if you were just sitting on the couch and in turn grow stronger and help in future performances in other sports and activities.
  • Lowering blood pressure– Your body is working hard while you run and this forces your arteries to “flex” which leads to your blood pressure being lowered. So eat healthy and keep your blood pressure in check by doing some jogging.

Swimming

A much overlooked workout for many Americans these days, I know it is a chore to get to the pool and then try to swim a few laps (especially if you haven’t done it in years). But swimming offers your body a lot more then other cardio workouts because you are physically moving through water which is great resistance. Other benefits include:

  • Increased cardio conditioning – Swimming is working your whole body so it makes your body use energy from every source possible. So the more you swim the more your body realizes it will need this new energy so it starts to prepare for it and you see the benefits.
  • Improved flexibility – Your body is so close to the same density of water that you don’t even realize how much during your swim your whole body is flexing and stretching.
  • Easy on your body – Again because of the density ratio your joints and muscles are not talking any damage from swimming like they do on land. This can help you recover from old injuries or keep you safe from future ones.
  • Building lean muscles – The resistance in water compared to land is 12. This means your body works 12 times harder when in the water than out of it. So your hips, back, arms and legs are getting 12x the benefit from swimming rather then other forms of cardio.

Biking

Not only great for the environment and stopping pollution, biking offers many health benefits that running and swimming both offer as well: Lowering blood pressure, growing stronger lungs and increasing your cardiovascular system. Biking also offers:

  • Weight management- If you have lost interest in running or swimming biking is a great way to re-invent your wokrouts (especially during the summer season).You can ride great trails, see wildlife and burn around 300 calories per hour! If you can make this part of your commute it can help keep you interested in eating healthy and being in top shape.
  • Boosting your mood – Research has shown that people who participate in physical exercise like biking have reduced levels of stress and depression, along with elevated levels of self-esteem and overall mood.
  • Building leg muscles – Each time you get on the bike your giving your legs a great workout and your definitely going to be feeling the effects each time. Doing hill climbing and explosive interval training on the bike can bring you to an even higher level of muscle building and toning.

The Results

When push comes to shove the best overall cardio workout is swimming. It works the most muscles with the most resistance along with building great breathing patterns and flexibility which transfers over to all other exercise. Not to mention the lower stress factor that other forms of cardio may have on your body.

The main thing to remember is that by doing cardio workouts you will be seeing results in the mirror if you keep at it and indulge yourself in a healthy eating lifestyle. If you are looking to burn more fat then you will be very interested in learning more on H.I.I.T which is interval training.

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