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What is Cardio?

Online Glossary / Quick Reference

Describes cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise performed on a treadmill, stepper, or bike if in a gym.

About Cardio

cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, encompasses any aerobic activity that increases the heart rate and improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, including the heart and lungs. These exercises are designed to enhance overall cardiovascular health, increase endurance, and aid in weight management by burning calories.

cardio exercises are often performed on various types of equipment, especially in a gym setting. Common cardio machines include:

  • Treadmill: A versatile machine that allows for walking, jogging, or running at various speeds and inclines.
  • Stepper: Also known as a stair climber, this machine simulates the action of climbing stairs, providing an intense lower body workout.
  • Bike: Stationary bikes, including upright and recumbent models, offer a low-impact cardiovascular workout that is easy on the joints.

cardio workouts can also be performed without machines, through activities such as running, swimming, cycling, rowing, and group fitness classes like aerobics, dance, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These activities are designed to keep the heart rate elevated for a sustained period, promoting cardiovascular endurance and overall health.

Incorporating regular cardio exercise into a fitness routine has numerous benefits, including improved heart health, increased lung capacity, enhanced circulation, better mood and mental health, and effective calorie burning for weight management. It is recommended to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio exercise per week to reap these health benefits.

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