What kind of cardio to choose from: running, Cycling, swimming, aerobics, Boxing or cardio in the gym

What kind of cardio to choose from: running, Cycling, swimming, aerobics, Boxing or cardio in the gym
What kind of cardio to choose from: running, Cycling, swimming, aerobics, Boxing or cardio in the gym

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There are plenty of cardio exercises ranging from Jogging and Cycling, finishing, Boxing and dancing. Even in every gym there are at least a little cardio. Tell us, what is to stop your choice.

The term “cardio” implies a positive effect on the heart. Cardio training develops the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, improves endurance and aerobic capacity of the person.

Cardio activity is necessary for all: and for those who want to develop endurance, and people who want to lose weight and even athletes seeking to build muscle. Choosing the right cardio and correctly matched the intensity to increase aerobic capacity without sacrificing muscle.


cardio: running
Raúl González/Flickr.com

The first thing that comes to mind when talking about cardio — running. It would seem that this is the most simple and natural for the body load, but running is not for everyone. Of course, anyone can begin to run, but whether he will get benefit from it and enjoy it, do come to run a second time depends on many factors.

If you have excess weight, problems with the joints of the legs, or poor physical training, we should be very careful approach to the selection of the load. If you prefer Jogging, then increase the intensity of exercises is gradually.

What muscles work

Running strengthens not only the legs and buttocks. The work included the muscles of the body, including the press. But let’s start with the feet.

During the run work quads (front of the thigh), the muscles back of the thigh, front and rear tibial muscles (Shin), gastrocnemius muscle. Tense up all of the gluteal muscles: large, medium and small, works of ilio-psoas muscle, responsible for flexion of the hip.

In addition, running strengthens the muscles of the upper and lower press, and the intercostal muscles responsible for a strong case. The work of the hands while running, provides a small load on the biceps, triceps and latissimus dorsi.

Of course, running will not help you to pump relief muscles (hands and feet), but it’s enough to keep them in good shape.

You’ll run if:

  • you want to pump the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, strengthen (but do not pump) muscle, increase endurance;
  • you want to lose weight and choose carefully the load (rapid increase in intensity can slow down the metabolism);
  • are you looking for the cheapest kind of cardio — without gyms, pools and exercise equipment.

You may not be running if:

  • you have a lot of extra weight and problems with the joints of the feet. While running a large load is placed on the leg joints, and in combination with overweight and untrained muscles and ligaments Jogging session in bodily injury;
  • you always hate running. Many remember the running of physical education lessons, and not always these memories are pleasant. Perhaps a quiet workout with your favorite music will change your mind about running, but if everything within you protests against the Jogging, you don’t need to force yourself — choose other kinds of loads.


cardio: bike
Georgie Pauwels/Flickr.com

Jogging at the slowest pace requires more effort than a relaxed Cycling, so that Cycling will be a great start for people with poor physical fitness or obesity.

A pleasant ride on a proper bike not repel you from cardio and gradual increase of load (distance, speed, elevation) will help to develop endurance and correct shape.

Unlike Jogging, while Cycling is no shock load on the legs. This is another plus for people who are not accustomed to serious exercise. In addition, Cycling with a speed of 15 kilometers per hour shows people suffering from varicose veins.

What muscles work

During Cycling large load is placed on the quadriceps. These muscles often ache after unaccustomed intense Cycling. Also tense the gluteal muscles and hamstrings are worked out calf muscles.

Try riding a Bicycle if:

  • you want to start with small loads;
  • during a workout you like to watch the changing landscape (Yes, it changes while running, but much slower);
  • you suffer from varicose veins;
  • you want to develop coordination and sense of balance.

You will not do the Cycling, if:

  • you want to quickly lose weight (if you plan to ride at a leisurely pace on flat tracks, load and calorie consumption will be minimal);
  • you want to train all year round (in winter, you have to go to the gym and train on a stationary bike);
  • you don’t like to sit during physical activity.


cardio: swimming

Swimming is an ideal exercise for people who are overweight or troubled joints. The probability of injury during swimming is practically zero, and the load on the joints is minimal. While swimming strengthens not only the muscles of the legs, as in the case with the Bicycle, but also arms, shoulders, back and abs.

Due to movements in different planes swimming strengthens joints and ligaments, develops coordination and improves endurance.

Any cardio has a positive effect on the respiratory system, but swimming definitely wins this in other sports. While swimming the crawl or breaststroke exhalation takes place not in air but in water — more dense environment that requires more effort, and after a breath swimmer holds his breath for a certain time. Due to this exercise increases lung capacity, breathing becomes fuller and deeper, the body is actively saturated with oxygen.

In addition, swimming is an excellent choice for people with spinal problems. In the water the spine is fully discharged, removed the pressure on the intervertebral discs, exercise the back muscles and the press.

What muscles work

Probably the most common (and fastest) style of swimming — crawl. When sailing this style of working large and small pectoral muscles, biceps and triceps, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps and hamstrings, calf muscles.

While swimming breaststroke more loaded leg muscles. During push legs tense the gluteal muscles, biceps and quadriceps femoris, gastrocnemius, adductors of the thigh. During the separation of the hands in the water included the pectoral muscles and the shoulder muscles.

You should choose swimming if:

  • you have problems with the joints and spine;
  • you want to minimize the risk of injury;
  • you want to keep in tone the muscles of the body.

You will not do swimming if:

  • you are uncomfortable in the water;
  • to go into the pool far away and inconvenient. Gyms are more people than pools. In addition, the pools have certain times of the sessions that may be difficult to fit into your schedule.


cardio training: aerobics
Edson Hong/Flickr.com

This is a great option for someone who is bored of doing cardio alone. Group classes to music, a wide variety of movements, the load on different muscle groups and with all the benefits of cardio.

Aerobics includes active walking, jumping, exercises to stretch and workout different muscles on the floor. Aerobic dance may include elements of various dance styles — Latin, Mambo, hip-hop, Zumba (this is a mixture of aerobics and dance), and many others, at the discretion of the coach.

If you use a different kind of cardio, tell us about it in comments.


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