Posted on May 30, 2018 by Josh Puttock

Cardiovascular/aerobic workouts are great for your health, but there are many things people don’t know about them. Both scientists and fitness professionals have different views about this type of training. It is already a known fact that cardiovascular exercises are closely related to weight loss, but is this the only answer to weight management?

What is cardiovascular exercise?

First of all, we have to clarify and understand what cardiovascular/aerobic training actually is. So, this type of exercise in basic terms is working out with oxygen – the opposite to anaerobic training. In the gym, this is known as ‘cardio’ to most. Using O2 (oxygen) as fuel, the heart pumps oxygenated blood to working muscles for proper functioning.

Frequently asked questions

Is cardiovascular training the only solution for weight loss?

The answer is no. The first step to losing weight is eating better. This means that a good review of daily intake behaviour must be done. Eating well is key, and exercise on top of this helps with the weight loss. And of course, aerobic exercise is great for burning calories.

How often and for how long should it be done for?

Specialists claim that a minimum of three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes, and no more than 90 minutes per session. However, everyone is different, and an individual’s fitness levels, genetics and so on can all impact upon how much can be tolerated.

Is HIIT a type of cardiovascular training?

It is and it isn’t! Aerobic (cardio) exercises performed at a high intensity, followed by a short time to rest (between 10 – 20 sec), becomes anaerobic exercises (without oxygen consumption). However, it can be completed as a cardio workout too – so it depends on the workout!

Should it come before or after lifting weights?

The answer is not that simple as it depends on individual goals, workout preferences, mood, and ultimately it is a matter of choice when combining aerobic exercises with an anaerobic routine. Fitness specialists and sports scientists agree that the individual’s goal is what decides the session and the order of exercises.

By Daniela Mohor, Gym & Spa Operative