A fit and healthy cardiovascular system is vital for various bodily functions as well as general health and wellbeing. Most important is its role in reducing the risk of developing heart disease by strengthening and increasing the efficiency of the heart, lungs and blood vessels.
Fundamentally, cardiovascular fitness allows for blood to be pumped through the body more easily, carrying and supplying oxygen to working muscles without overworking the heart.
So, with that in mind, here are some of the most effective exercises for developing cardiovascular fitness:
Walking is an easy and widely accessible exercise with which to begin your fitness journey. Requiring little to no equipment - just some comfortable shoes - walking at a brisk pace of at least three miles per hour for 30 minutes is enough to raise your heart rate and get in some good cardiovascular training.
Although often overlooked, any low-to-medium-intensity exercise is considered an aerobic workout and, therefore, a great way to strengthen the heart and lungs and make the supply of oxygen to working muscles in the body easier.
But, like other muscles, as the heart and lungs get stronger and cardiovascular fitness increases, you may need to up the intensity of your workouts to keep reaping the benefits. So, start slow and, when that begins to feel easy, pick up the pace or go for longer.
Another popular exercise for developing cardiovascular fitness is running. Similar to walking, this requires little equipment and can be done anywhere - at home, in the gym or around your neighbourhood.
Again, beginners are advised to start slowly and build up pace and duration as their fitness level increases to avoid overexerting the body and muscles. Running can also be mixed with walking, whereby a workout alternates between a couple of minutes of high-intensity jogging and a moderate-intensity stroll.
Rebounding using a bellicon® mini trampoline provides a quick, fun and convenient way of exercising to build cardiovascular fitness. Whilst traditional running and walking exercises have their perks, when performed on a bungee-based rebounder that has been configured perfectly to your unique features and needs, they become that much more beneficial.
Research on the benefits of rebounding has shown that it is a better exercise than running for increasing cardio strength and reaching target heart rates. Whilst it achieves these important goals, it has been found to be much less fatiguing too. And best of all burns more calories.
In terms of low-intensity training, similar to walking, rebounding on a bungee-based mini trampoline also offers a low-impact form of cardio exercise. Due to this, rebounding is accessible for people of all ages and abilities.
The soft cushioning and the way in which shock, pressure and tension are distributed throughout the body on each bounce allows those with back, knee and other ailments to workout and develop their cardiovascular fitness. For these individuals, running and walking on hard surfaces, like the ground or a treadmill, often aggravates injuries, whereas on a bellicon® bungee rebounder they are much better protected. In fact, the bellicon® is the only back-friendly certified rebounder on the market.
Rebounders can be placed in a home, office or even carried around with you on trips, allowing you to easily fit workouts into your daily schedule, no matter where life takes you. In this way, developing cardiovascular fitness has never been easier.
Although enjoyed as a leisurely activity by many, when a brisk pace is kept up for a duration of 20 - 40 minutes, swimming becomes another effective aerobic exercise for developing cardiovascular fitness.
Again, beginners should start slow and take rests between laps in order not to over do it. As you increase the intensity of your training over time, however, you will certainly be able to feel the benefits.
Unlike the exercises mentioned above, swimming requires the use of dedicated facilities which makes it less accessible.
Skipping with a jumping rope is a high-intensity calorie crunching exercise that will really raise your heart rate. Drawing on the high intensity interval training (HIIT) methodology, training with a jumping rope for just a short period of time, whereby bursts are followed by concise rest intervals, is guaranteed to give your heart a good workout.
Skipping can be a fun, energetic exercise to do with friends and children almost anywhere - all you need is a rope!
But despite these benefits, when having to lift your body even just a few centimetres off the ground to jump over the rope, the impact and strain on muscles and bones can make it less accessible to those with injuries or other ailments.
There you have it, five effective exercises to develop cardiovascular fitness.
Discover more about the health and fitness benefits of rebounding with a bellicon® mini trampoline.