Getting rid of the confusion about cardio definitions
The word aerobic literally means ‘with oxygen’. Most people associate aerobic exercise with slow to medium paced repetitive movements over an extended period of time. When you do this type of exercise, such as walking on a treadmill for a half hour, you burn more fat as a percentage of energy to provide the fuel your body needs to do the exercise than glycogen. But that doesn’t make it the best form of exercise for fat loss.
Even though you burn more percentage of energy through fat metabolism, you will burn more overall calories when you train with higher intensity on such things as strength training. In addition, the more intense the form of exercise, the longer the excess post exercise energy consumption (EPOC) or after burn effect will be.
When you are focused on aerobic exercise, such as walking or running on a treadmill, you will make improvements to your aerobic capacity. This term refers to the respiratory system. The capacity of this system is measured by a unit known as VO2 max – your maximum oxygen consumption. Your VO2 max is of great importance as you are an endurance athlete. However, if you are involved in workouts for general strength and fitness, it is less significant.
As you are no doubt aware, your cardiovascular health is a key indicator of your overall well-being. As a result, you need to carefully monitor the start of your cardio system. This system encompasses your heart, your veins, arteries, the pulmonary and systemic circulation routes.
The startling truth for many people is that cardiovascular health is not directly connected to aerobic training, despite what we are constantly told.
Cardiorespiratory fitness is another term that you may come across. It refers to the respiratory and circulatory systems’ ability to provide oxygen to your muscles while you are exercising. This will help to make your workouts more effective. More importantly, it will make every action you take also more efficient.
Again, however, cardiovascular fitness is not the exclusive domain of aerobic exercise training. Strength and resistance training (such as that with resistance bands) can provide an even more effective way to improve your cardiovascular fitness.