Eat right, train right! Cardio is short for cardiovascular fitness, which is a term used to reference the entire circulatory system.
Cardio is sometime known as "aerobic exercise"— it is a form of exercise that requires pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart to deliver oxygen to working muscles and other tissues and organs.
In a simplest term, cardio stimulates the heart rate to beat at a higher rate than normal, as well as your breathing rate to increase in a way that can be sustained for the length of the exercise session. In contrast, anaerobic exercise is without "oxygen", an exercise activity type that involved you moving quickly and get out of breath quickly, like sprinting and weight lifting.
Aerobic means = needing or using oxygen.
You can think of aerobic exercises like running, biking or an aerobic class in your local gym class. Aerobic is the heart pumping exercise that makes your lung takes in more oxygen to keep you moving.
Anaerobic means = without oxygen.
Anaerobic is just the opposite of aerobic. Anaerobic means "without oxygen". You can think of exercises like weight lifting and sprinting are called an anaerobic exercise.
Why do "cardio"?
The main purpose of aerobic or cardio exercise is enhancing respiratory and "circulatory system" efficiency, and as a result, making our heart and lungs healthier, stronger.
When you are told to increase cardio, it simply means to perform exercises that will increase your heart rate to your "target heart rate zone" and improve the circulatory system.
Heart Rate Target Zone
Before you can calculate your target heart rate zone, you first need to calculate your Maximum Heart Rate.
Your maximum heart rate is determined by age.
Maximum heat rate equation:
220 – Age = Maximum Heart Rate
For Example: A 45-year-old person would have the following calculation for Max Heart Rate:
220 – 45 years = 175 beats per minute or bpm
To calculate their target heart rate zone (65-85%):
Max heart rate x target % = Target Heart Rate
175 x 50% (or .50) = 88 bpm
175 x 85% (or .85) = 149 bpm
This person’s target heart rate zone is 107 bpm to 140 bpm.