Weight lifting

Cardio exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate. Face it our bodies were made to move. And we all know that to keep our muscles in shape we need move them. This movement makes them stronger and stronger muscles make for a more efficient and healthy body. Your heart is a muscle. Therefore working it makes it stronger. A stronger cardio-vascular system means more capillaries delivering more oxygen to cells in your muscles. This enables your cells to burn more fat during both exercise and inactivity.

Cardio exercise uses large muscle movement over a sustained period of time keeping your heart rate to at least 50% of its maximum level. Are your workout intense enough?  Your Target Heart Rate can answer that question. To obtain your Target Heart Rate check out our calculator at https://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/target-heart-rate.

Some of the Best Cardio Workouts Are:

Walking – This is the easiest and safest way to start getting in your cardio.

Elliptical – Minimal impact on the knees and hips but calorie burning is still high.  When you increase the incline you will activate more muscles.

Running –  This one is easy to understand.  Just remember if you train like a distance runner you will look like a distance runner.  If you train like a sprinter you will develop a sprinters body.  Steading running burns calories but sprints take it to the next level.

High Intensity Interval Training – Short intervals at maximum intensity followed by short periods of rest.   Best all around workout that burns fat and calories.  Find a program here: https://www.healthstatus.com/high-intensity-interval-training/

Bike Riding or Cycling – Cycling uses large muscle groups in the legs and helps elevate your heart rate.  This one is great you can do it inside or outside, with your kids, or even over the internet in your own home.

Stair Climber – Uses more muscles than walking.

Jumping Rope –  Cheap, easy and burns tons of calories.  If you remember doing this for hours as a kid you will be surprised at how exhausted you will get now.

Swimming – This is a total body workout as long as you are not just floating – even treading water burns calories. Swimming laps would be best and change up the strokes you use so that you work all different kinds of muscles and the continuous pace works your heart and lungs.

Rowing  – Works both the upper and lower body and is low stress on joints and ligaments.

Circuit Training – When you work out at a high intensity the blood starts to pump a lot harder and that challenges the elasticity of the arterial wall.

If you want to not only work your heart but want to build muscle continue with your exercise routine and add in some weights.


Want to know how many calories you are burning?  Go here:  https://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc


If you can’t finish a sentence while doing your workout you are going at it too hard. If you are having no trouble talking step it up. You need a minimum of 20 minutes of continued elevated pulse to get the best results at least 3 times a week.

If you find you are super tired or unusually sore back off the intensity or take an extra recovery day.  The goal is to feel better not overdue.


American Heart Association Recommendation

For Overall Cardiovascular Health:

At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150OR

At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activityAND

Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.

For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week

Benefits of Cardio Exercise:

Weight Loss – All exercise burns calories.  A deficit caloric intake and your body will burn fat and you will lose weight.  Are you at an unhealthy weight now?  Find out here:  https://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/body-mass-index

Stronger Heart  – Teaches the heart to work more efficiently.

Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol – As your heart beats faster it increases blood flow.  Blood vessels become more elastic when they are worked and small blood vessels widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles.

Increased Bone Density – Weight bearing aerobic exercise like walking helps to decrease the risk of osteoporosis.

Reduces Stress & Depression – When you exercise your body releases endorphins which are natural pain killers.

Better Sleep – Let’s face we sleep better when our body is tired.

Maintain muscle strength into old age. – Strong muscles as we age will keep us independent longer.

More Energy – You will increase your stamina and reduce your fatigue.  OK, you may fell more exhausted when you first start an exercise program, but stick with it and your energy levels will increase.  You will be on your way to a more active lifestyle.

Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease – Being physically active is important in preventing Heart Disease (#1 Killer) and Stroke (#5 Killer).

Strengthens Lungs – When we move our large muscles we breathe faster and more deeply this improves lung function.

Live Longer – Studies show that those who regularly exercise live longer than those who don’t.

Less Likely to Get Sick – Exercise activates your immune system.  Want to avoid a cold?  Don’t pass up on your exercise.

How should you start?

Before starting any new exercise program, it is important to know if you are healthy enough to increase your activity level.  Please check with a health care professional on any limitations or restrictions you may have, particularly if you have a chronic health condition.

It is also important to start small and increase the time you are active and the intensity of your workout.  Walking is the safest and easiest way to get started.  Increase the amount of time you walk and the speed you are walking and before you know it you will reap all the rewards of cardiovascular exercise.

If you have arthritis look into swimming exercise classes.  These can be much easier on the joints.


As Exercise Intensity Increases = More Calories Burned


In order to feel good now and in the future you need cardio exercise. It will not create 6 pack abs or tone problem areas but it will make your body more efficient in your day to day living.



HealthStatus Team

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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23 thoughts on “Cardio Exercise Definition and Benefits

  1. Suraj Baruaj

    I do cardio exercise every 2 days a week.. And other days gym.. It is very helpful for building good physique.. Try to run backwards.. it will bring good results for your thighs.

  2. How To Choose The Best Rowing Machine For A Cardio Workout – Barry Welsh

    […] Cardio workouts are extremely beneficial to your physical health. They keep your heart strong, give you great circulation and increase your endurance, strength and overall physical well being. If you are passionate about cardio workouts, you may be considering purchasing a rowing machine. This type of machine allows you to do the workouts you want from the comfort of your own home. This is great if you have a particularly busy schedule, or you prefer to exercise in a private setting. Consider the following suggestions in order to get yourself the best rowing machine. First and foremost, realize that a rowing machine is not an item you want to skimp on money-wise. Do not buy a machine solely because it is cheap. If you do so, you may end up with a low quality rowing machine that will not suit your needs. This just ends up being a waste of money. While you do not have to break the bank to get a good machine, you should consider making a solid investment in a high quality model. This will save you money and the benefits will pay off over time. […]

  3. You Don’t Need to Join a Gym to Stay in Shape

    […] Unless you’ve never been to gym class or haven’t spent a second of your life thinking about exercise before reading this article, you probably know what cardio exercises are. In any event, here’s a quick definition: Cardio exercises are activities that boost your hate rate. […]

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    […] to an article put out from Health Status a stronger cardio-vascular system means more capillaries delivering more oxygen to cells in your […]

  5. Top 20 Weight Loss Tips For Women | Super Weight Loss For Women

    […] Cardio exercises are the staple to any weight loss workouts program for women. Some of the greatest cardio workouts for women have contributed to the success stories of many women who have lost a lot of weight and have kept it off. Cardio can be classified as anything that increases your heart rate . There are a lot of cardio workouts online that you can search that can help you increase your heart rate, but some of the basic ones include running, jogging, walking, cycling, and aerobics. Most of the cardio workouts include one of the above. For example, fitness magazine has a whole list dedicated to some of their best cardio workout combinations. Other online mediums promote body weight cardio exercises to get your heart rate going. Another great cardio workout includes some form of interval cardio training . These are highly effective workouts which we will talk about later in our post. […]

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    I am planning to get a elliptical cross trainer. The reason to choose this to do a basic workout daily and one more pbm I am facing daily. What i mean is when I walk in the steps of about of 10-20 also I feel like my heart rate is going high and my tongue comes out and I will breath very fast. can this problem be solved if I work out in a elliptical cross trainer ?

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  15. Manas

    How I keep my heart healthy and fine &keep my blood circulation and nerves strong

  16. The Definition Of Cardiovascular Endurance | purathrive reviews

    […] Cardio Exercise Definition and Benefits – HealthStatus – Cardio exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate. Learn about the definition and the benefits of cardio exercises. […]

  17. Alejandro Villarroel

    There are a lot benefit in cardio exercises. The best of all is that there many of them and you can do it at home if you want. Now, cardio is not just exercising in the gym. It is more than that. You can walk, run or even sport are great as some cardio exercises.

  18. Crossfit Valencia

    Really informative blog, I liked your article which shares about cardio exercise. You simply defines it and shared many benefits of it. Thanks for sharing.

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    […] fundamental variations between aerobic and anaerobic being active is the way the body utilizes oxygen in the development of energy. In aerobic fitness exercise, your body uses the oxygen that you […]

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  21. Mike

    I think cardion exercises better to do not in gym but in fresh air.

  22. Mark

    Overall great article about cardio workout. I really appreciate your work. I think Jumping jacks is the first step in cardio workouts for fat loss.

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