Blog By: Manasi Joshi
Cardiorespiratory (CR) fitness, sometimes called CR endurance, aerobic fitness, or aerobic capacity, is one of the five basic components of physical fitness. CR fitness is a condition in which the body’s cardiovascular (circulatory) and respiratory systems function together, especially during exercise or work, to ensure that adequate oxygen is supplied to the working muscles to produce energy. CR fitness is needed for prolonged, rhythmic use of the body’s large muscle groups. A high level of CR fitness permits continuous physical activity without a decline in performance and allows for rapid recovery following fatiguing physical activity.
Activities such as running, bicycling, swimming, cross-country skiing, rowing, stair climbing, and jumping rope place an extra demand on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. During exercise, these systems attempt to supply oxygen to the working muscles. Most of this oxygen is used to produce energy for muscular contraction. Any activity that continuously uses large muscle groups for 20 minutes or longer taxes these systems. Because of this, a wide variety of training methods is used to improve cardiorespiratory endurance.
Running on a Treadmill can be very boredom to achieve aerobic fitness. Running/Walking on a “JOGGING TACK” made from paver blocks will take a toll on your joints after some period. I have seen many people, who already have a knee injury, walking on these tracks. There are many other ways to do the cardio workout. I Juggle between Goa and Kalyan mostly every 15 to 30 days. I feel I am really lucky that I can do my walking on Goa Beaches. Daily I see many persons exercising on these clean beaches. Beach is the best place to go for walking/jogging. Good for your knees, good for breathing the clean air. I know, everybody doesn’t have access to beaches. If there is a Garden near your house you can walk on the grass or at least GET DOWN from those hard jogging tracks and walk on the mud. Playing a sport is also a good way to get a cardio workout. Exercising in a group is also a lot fun and motivating. The class is full of enthusiasm. You get motivated seeing others perform, with the music and the instructor giving commands. Nowadays there are varieties of classes conducted to make the class interesting and avoid boredom. Few are: Regular Floor and Step Aerobics classes, Cardio Kick Boxing, Zumba Aerobics, Cross Fit Training etc. But before joining any class there are few points to look after.
As it is a group class participants may have different fitness levels. Group instructor may not be able to take exercises according to each and every person’s fitness level. The chances of injury are very high in these classes. Look for institutions where there are classes for different levels like beginners, intermediate and advance. Check whether the instructors are properly certified. Usually they don’t perform any fitness tests before joining the class. Insist on proper evaluation. Consult a Doctor and do medical evaluation before starting any program. The instructor will not be able to attend to you personally, she cannot check your form all the time so it is better if you do not push to your limits and remain in safer zone. Number of participants should also be limited in the batch so that you can have enough space to move and its easier for instructor to handle the class. Try to remain with the same instructor/same batch for longer period as you are very well adjusted of her moves, gestures and commands, other members, and level of the class. Attend 2 to 3 trial batches to see if it suits you before signing for any long term program.
Can doing cardio result in muscle loss?
Should cardio avoided to increase muscle mass?
Should we run on treadmill and lift on the same day?(concurrent training)
I will be trying to give the answers for these questions today. I said “trying” because I am researching for the answers for these questions since long but there are different opinions among the experts.
So after researching, I have come to the following conclusions:
- Cycling concurrently with strength training instead of running will not affect strength and hypertrophy
- Strength and hypertrophy gains of upper body are unaffected regardless any mode of aerobic training
- Keeping the gap between Aerobic training and strength training if done on the same day. Or better to do it on different days. (2 days per week and not more than 20 to 30 mins. if the goal is strength and hypertrophy)
- Consuming enough proteins is the key.
- Avoid Overtraining.
- Intake of pre-workout snack is necessary
- Concurrent training leads to a significantly greater reduction in body fat percentage when compared to strength training alone or endurance training alone.
There are great benefits of cardio. For speedy Fat loss Cardio and Strength Training together is the better option. Proper aerobic training is the only way you can increase VO2max. Your heart is the Muscle and it should be trained regularly, but important is not to under eat or over train yourselves. So, how much cardio you can do will depend on your goal. If you are not into bodybuilding or power lifting then you can go for aerobic training. Split your days between Cardio – 30 to 40 minutes and Strength training – 4 days Strength, 2 days Cardio, 1 day for rest is the best option. If your goal is bodybuilding or power lifting then cycling or rowing for 20 mins, 1 or 2 times a week will be ok. The best choice for you will be High Intensity Interval Training for short duration to maximize the benefits of cardio.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercises
- Decrease in Heart disease risk factors by reducing resting blood pressure, increasing HDL Cholesterol, decreasing total cholesterol, reduction in body fat stores, increased heart function
- Prevention of type 2 diabetes
- Helps in control of diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels and increasing insulin sensitivity
- Increased aerobic work capacity
- Increased lactate threshold
- Decreasing resting heart rate, Increasing total blood volume, increasing heart volume, increasing resting and maximum stroke volume, increasing maximum oxygen consumption
- Increasing capillary density and blood flow to active muscles
- Increasing maximal ventilation
- Reduction in anxiety, tension and depression.
Any type of fitness training, whether it is aerobic training, strength training, or flexibility training is based on the overload principle. Overload means to train one of the body’s systems (Skeletal system or cardiopulmonary system) such that, that system must be made to work harder than it is accustomed to working. The exercise must cause a sustained increase in the amount of blood returning to the heart. To maintain overload, aerobic training should follow four rules. The exercise should
(1) Be the correct type, (2) be done at the proper intensity, (3) be of sufficient duration, and (4) occur with adequate frequency.
This method involves training for a specified duration at a particular intensity throughout, without taking breaks. Exercise mode can be walking, cycling, swimming or aerobic dance. Intensity is maintained continuously between 50-80% of HRR depending upon fitness level.
It involves alternating high intensity bouts of exercise with relatively low intensity bouts. This is specifically beneficial to clients who wish to train at higher intensity but cannot sustain it for longer periods. It enables the client to recover during low intensity session and thus can perform another high intensity session.
Its similar to internal training but high low intensity workout are not systematically measured.
It involves going through a series of exercise stations with relatively brief rest between each station. It mainly helps to enhance muscular endurance and incorporates low weight high repetition exercises. It may also be aerobic circuit training including stationary cycling, trade mill, Stair climber, elliptical trainer and rowing. It can also be the combination of both aerobic and anaerobic training.
Aerobic Cross Training
It comprises of all aerobic training methods with variety of exercise intensities and modes. It make the session enjoyable and interesting.
Following listed are some precautions to be taken while undergoing exercise program
- Avoid exercise for atleast 90 mins after meals
- Ask your client to stop immediately if there is chest discomfort, lightheadedness or dizziness
- Lower exercise intensity in very hot or humid environment and to altitudes above 5000 feet
- Take rest if there is tenderness in joint. Ask them to consult doctor if there is any joint injury.
- Discontinue exercise during illness like viral infections.
- Obtain clearance from medical practitioner in cases of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease.
- Wear proper exercise apparel like proper shoes and clothes which facilitate full range of motion, absorbs sweat and are comfortable.
- Provide proper ventilation for indoor exercise
- Use safe equipments and are tested at regular intervals
- Include proper warm up and cool down sessions in exercise program
- Drink water before, during and after exercise.
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