Exercising comes in a great number of different ways. If you stop to think about how complex the human body is, it is easy to realize why there are so many different workouts and exercises. Basically, every area of the body, every muscle, needs the right kind of work in order to get stronger and more durable, as well as to stay healthy while doing so. Chest, back, arms, legs, shoulders… all of these muscle groups are done differently and they cannot really be done on the same day. One other type of exercise can and should be done every day, and that is cardio.
Also known as cardiovascular workouts or aerobics, these exercises increase the heart rate and breathing rate giving the person more stamina and endurance in the process. These workouts help to improve the entire cardiovascular system including the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
The main goal of cardio is improving cardiovascular endurance, the ability of the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles during exercise. This allows us to perform physical activities more efficiently and for longer periods of time without tiring. Even when tired, the amount of rest needed is shortened.
Some of the most common types of cardio workouts include fast walking, running, cycling, swimming, and dancing. Such workouts can be performed at moderate to high-intensity levels, depending on your fitness level and goals, and can be done outside in nature or inside at gyms and fitness centers.
Cardio workouts come with many benefits for the body. For one, they improve heart health. They strengthen the heart muscle and improve its ability to pump blood through the body. Calorie burn is increased and weight loss and weight management become easier to deal with.
Improved lung function is another great benefit. Cardio workouts increase the efficiency of the lungs and make breathing during physical activity easier. Depression, stress, and anxiety are reduced because cardio workouts release endorphins that improve the mood. Sleep is also greatly improved with regular cardio exercises making us feel more rested and energized.
Types of Cardio
As mentioned earlier, there exist many types of cardio exercises. First of all, there are steady-state exercises. This involves maintaining a consistent and moderate-intensity level of activity for extended periods of time. Examples include jogging, cycling, swimming, and walking. This workout is great for improving cardiovascular endurance and burning calories.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the second type. It involves alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. HIIT can be performed in many ways, the most common being sprinting, jumping jacks, burpees, and the star of this article, rowing. These workouts are great for burning calories, improving cardiovascular endurance, and building stamina.
Many other cardio exercises exist. For example, there is circuit training that includes performing a series of exercises back-to-back with little to no rest in between. It can be a combination of cardio and strength exercises, too. Dance cardio involves performing dance moves to music, usually in a group setting and it is a fun way to get the heart rate up and burn calories while having fun. Of course, sports like basketball, soccer, and tennis offer enough full-body workouts due to the constant running, jumping, and swift moves.
The Rowing Machine
Many agree that the motion of rowing is among the best cardio workouts a human being can do. The exercise makes use of the back, the arms, and the legs, with a few other muscles and tendons also working hard. A rowing machine, also known as an indoor rower or ergometer, is an exercise machine that simulates this motion. It looks exactly like rowing a boat while you do it and the machine is made up of a seat, a set of footrests, and a handle. The handle is attached to a chain or cord and there is a resistance mechanism.
While it seems rather straightforward, using a rowing machine is not so easy, especially at first. The user has to sit on the seat and place the feet on the footrests. They then grasp the handle and pull it towards their chest, with their legs extended. This motion mimics the movement of rowers, with the resistance mechanism providing resistance to the pulling motion.
Rowing machines are an amazing cardio workout because they provide a low-impact full-body workout that burns a ton of calories. They are a favorite and are also used by rowers as a way to train indoors. A popular choice in fitness centers and home gyms alike, they provide a very effective cardio workout that engages several major muscle groups at once.
There are different types of resistance mechanisms used in rowing machines and there are several differences among them. The resistance can come from air, water, or magnetism. Each type has its own unique benefits and drawbacks and the best choice depends on individual preferences and fitness goals. Speaking of preferences and goals…
Transformations and Weight Loss: What Can You Expect?
So how useful are rowing machines actually and what can be expected after using one for a while? The before and after transformations as well as the weight loss results of using one can vary depending on several factors. These mainly include the user’s starting fitness level, the frequency and intensity of their workouts, and the overall diet and lifestyle habits. On its own though, a rowing machine can be an effective tool for weight loss and body transformation.
Using a rowing machine burns calories and improves cardiovascular endurance. This contributes to weight loss and improved fitness levels in the long term. According to research and experiments, a 155-pound person can burn between 260 and 311 calories in 30 minutes of rowing, depending on the intensity level. This is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints, especially when compared to other cardio exercises like running or jumping.
In terms of body transformation, a rowing machine can help tone and strengthen the muscles in the legs, back, and arms, all at once. There is no other exercise that can do this at the same level. Regular rowing workouts can improve posture and increase overall muscle definition and help the body find that sweet spot of being strong and looking great.
It is very important to note that weight loss and body transformation are not solely dependent on exercise alone, on a rowing machine, or anywhere else for that matter. A balanced diet and overall healthy lifestyle habits are crucial for achieving and maintaining weight loss and overall health goals.