What is Cardio Exercise?

cardio exercise

Your heart beats faster. You breathe more rapidly and deeply. And you sweat. Well, that’s probably because you’ve been moving the large muscles in your legs, arms and hips over a sustained period of time. When these major muscles are involved in exercise, there is increased rate of respiration to produce energy. In turn, the need for more oxygen leads to increased breathing and heart rate. And such a form of activity is called cardiovascular exercise—or cardio in short.

Another way to think about aerobic exercise or “cardio” is that it’s the type of workout where your heart rate and breathing increase, but not so much that you feel like you need to stop and rest after a short period of time.


If done regularly, cardiovascular exercise helps improve many risk factors for heart disease. It lowers blood pressure, maintains weight loss, and makes the heart stronger and more efficient so it can deliver more blood to the muscles.

The Many Benefits of a Cardio Workout
  • Brain and joints. Cardio exercise can benefit brain and joint health. …
  • Skin and muscles. No matter how you choose to move, being active helps increase circulation, which leads to clearer, healthier skin. …
  • Improved Sexual function. …
  • Improved Mood. …
  • Improved Sleep
  • Increase in energy levels.

Below are the most common cardiovascular exercises

  • Brisk walking
  • Running
  • Jogging or jogging on the spot
  • Burpees
  • Bear crawls
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Rowing
  • Kayaking, paddling or canoeing
  • Circuit training
  • Skipping
  • Hiking
  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  • Kickboxing

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