Your Body

Four Underrated Ways to Boost Your Cardiovascular Fitness

Four Underrated Ways to Boost Your Cardiovascular Fitness

The heart is your body’s most important muscle, so it needs working out just as hard as the rest of your muscles.

 

Cardiovascular exercise is all about increasing the flow of blood and oxygen around your body, and there are so many ways to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping faster.

 

But every now and then, it pays to mix up your usual fitness routine to push yourself that bit further and try something new. Not only does this help to keep your exercise routine interesting and different, but it can also help to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

 

What is cardiovascular fitness?

 

Cardiovascular fitness and cardiovascular exercise are not quite the same. Cardiovascular fitness refers to your ability to supply your heart and lungs with enough blood and oxygen to keep them functioning at their best, whereas cardiovascular exercise is the type of physical activity that can help you to boost that fitness.

 

Working on your cardiovascular fitness could help to increase your strength, stamina, and performance during exercise.

 

If you often find yourself out of breath or don’t feel as physically fit as you’d like to, there are steps you can take to improve your cardiovascular fitness. These include a range of exercises that can easily fit into your daily routine or be done at home, such as:

 

• Walking
• Cycling
• Swimming
• Skipping

 

Short-term benefits of cardio exercise

 

Aerobic or cardio exercise can give your mood a boost as the increased flow of oxygen to your brain can trigger the release of endorphins, leaving you on a high. Your brain also releases dopamine when you get to the end of a workout, giving you a sense of achievement.

 

Together, these can leave you feeling calmer, less stressed and invigorated for the rest of the day.

 

Long-term effects of cardio fitness

 

Working on your cardiovascular fitness could transform your entire quality of life, especially when it’s combined with a healthy diet.

 

Regular cardio exercise can help you to maintain a healthy weight, subsequently reducing your risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, and lowering your likelihood of being diagnosed with heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

 

4 out-of-the-box ways to improve your cardio fitness

 

Try one of these four ways to improve cardiovascular fitness in a fun, interesting way that’s guaranteed to keep you motivated:

 

Hot yoga

 

While hot yoga isn’t high-energy enough to be considered a cardio exercise, it can still help you to improve your overall cardiovascular fitness.

 

Many hot yoga poses can expand your lung capacity, helping with the overall health of your cardiovascular system. What’s more, taking yourself out of your comfort zone and working out slightly different muscles than you’re used to can stretch you – in every sense of the word.

 

Climbing

 

Climbing, either indoors or outdoors, is a great way to improve your cardio fitness, as scrambling to find an accessible route puts your muscles and your cardiovascular system under stress, giving your whole body a good workout.

 

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You don’t need to go to a dedicated climbing wall for this type of workout – make the most of any trees or rocks close to your home to get the invigorating benefits of being out in nature while you exercise.

 

Martial arts

 

Martial arts can give your whole body a workout, and can make you physically and mentally stronger.

 

Going to a martial arts class can be a fun, sociable way to exercise, and it allows you to work on your self-defence skills, so you can feel as though you’re learning a valuable life skill while also working on your cardiovascular fitness.

 

Trampolining

 

Trampolining is an incredibly enjoyable way to work out, and it’s a great way to have a break from your usual fitness routine. All of the jumping involved in this type of exercise can provide you with an excellent aerobic workout, but you’re unlikely to even notice that you’re exercising as you’ll be having so much fun.

 

If you’re exercising more to improve your cardiovascular fitness, you might want to supplement your usual diet with a protein powder to help you increase your muscle mass. Explore the vegan protein range available from Garden of Life.

 

 

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Garden of Life

Garden of Life

Writer and expert