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5 Basic Types of Cardio Fitness Techniques

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, cardio fitness techniques may reduce high blood pressure and prevent heart disease which is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Cardiovascular training is also associated with fat loss and better sports performance.

There are several types of cardio exercises, each having its pros and cons for a particular fitness goal. Choosing the right type is equally important whether you’re an experienced athlete bringing his/her performance to a totally new level or a beginner who just wants to break through that fat loss plateau.

Low-Intensity/Long Duration

With a continuous duration from 60 to 120 minutes and the 40-60% of the maximum heart rate, this sort of an exercise is one of the best cardio fitness techniques that will fit individuals who are just getting started including obese people. This type will basically include the following activities:

  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Cycling

To check whether the exercise you’re doing is low-intensity, try the so called ‘talk test’ which means you should be able to converse freely during your performance.

Medium Intensity/Medium Duration

As you increase your heart rate to 70% of its maximum, you reduce the time of your exercise to 20-40 minutes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a significant indicator for medium intensity cardio fitness techniques is the ability to talk abruptly (no favorite tunes chiming, though). This sort of training is more of a stand-alone workout but may also include exercises like:

  • Brisk walking
  • Running
  • Water aerobics

High-Intensity Short Duration

This sort of cardio fitness exercises is performed at 80-85% of one’s heart rate maximum and is characterized by quite a demanding form of aerobic or resistance training. Depending on your level of fitness, the recommended duration ranges from 5 to 20 minutes. Good samples of high-intensity training are:

  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Sprinting
  • Cycling

aerobicAerobic Interval Exercising

In this way, you alternate moderate/high-intensity fitness exercises with a period of rest or low-intensity activities. By varying the intensity not only you eliminate the boredom of your workout routines but also provide certain benefits for your cardiovascular system such as the ability to handle the stress and recover from it. However, this sort of training might be quite demanding, it’s recommended to consult your doctor or fitness instructor before introducing it into your training program.

High-Intensity Interval Training

When you apply this sort of cardio fitness techniques, your heart intensity might range between 85-100% which means you will increase your fitness and performance by literally pushing your body’s limits every time you do the exercise. Generally, any cardio activity will work as long as you do it vigorously within a short period of time.

This kind of exercise is generally recommended for advanced and experienced exercisers. It’s quite challenging and it’s very easy to overdo if you go for it too often. That’s why most fitness experts do not recommend having high-intensity interval training more than 1-2 times a week with at least 24-48 hours between each workout.