Cardio exercise refers to any kind of physical activity that elevates the heart rate and ultimately builds up the cardiovascular system. Most men and women who exercise three or four days per week at a moderate pace will generally see improvement in their overall health from cardio exercise. It is considered “heart healthy” exercise, which strengthens heart muscle, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and increases stamina. If training for a fitness event, such as a marathon or other strenuous activity, then getting the heart into optimal condition is crucial.
Cardio equipment can run the gamut from treadmills to stationary bikes. Treadmills are especially useful for athletes who want a controlled indoor experience. Treadmills can be set to a specific speed and can even incline slightly to simulate hills. During the winter, when it is often too cold to run or walk outside, these machines represent excellent alternatives. Some of them have heart rate monitors that can be attached to the wrist. This way, runners and walkers can keep an eye on their pulse as they exert themselves throughout the workout.
Some cardio equipment, like elliptical trainers, allows exercisers to use both their legs and their arms as they work out. By forcing the body into a specific posture as it moves around, the elliptical trainer itself will help men and women obtain maximum efficiency. These kinds of machines are excellent options for beginner through advanced athletes. They are also considered easier on the joints than some other cardio exercise machines.
Rowing machines allow for a more varied experience. While these allow the heart rate to become elevated, they also give the arm muscles an incredible workout. In fact, building up the biceps and triceps is one key aspect of strength training. Combining cardio exercise with strength training can lead to a more fit body overall.
Cardio equipment is ultimately helpful to individuals who want to get serious about their training and their overall health. There is a wide range of cardio exercise equipment available for home use, as well as commercial equipment most often found in a local gym or fitness center. No matter the weather, it is possible to get in a good cardio workout.