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ZOE Science And Nutrition Summary : Cardio exercise: How much do you really need?

Podcast: ZOE Science And Nutrition
5 min. read

— Description —

Not all of us want to go to the gym 5 times a week, but what if there was a way to do quick, short high intensity 20 second exercises and still reap benefits - or does that sound too good to be true? Javier and Jonathan break this down as they look at recent studies and results, optimizing exercise routines to achieve the desired health benefits, taking into account factors like intensity, duration, and frequency as well as discussing the effect of working from home vs commuting to the office. Download our FREE guide — Top 10 Tips to Live Healthier: If you want to uncover the right foods for your body, head to and get 10% off your personalized nutrition program. Follow ZOE on Instagram Mentioned in today’s episode: The Effects of High Intensity Interval Training vs Steady State Training on Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity; from The Journal of Sports and Science Medicine Episode transcripts are available here Is there a nutrition topic you’d like us to explore? Email us at [email protected], and we’ll do our best to cover it.

Cardio exercise: How much do you really need?

Key Takeaways

  • The key points from the provided information emphasize the importance of cardio exercise and its impact on cardiovascular health
  • Cardio exercise involves activities that utilize the cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems to draw oxygen into the muscles, improving the capacity of the heart and muscles to utilize oxygen
  • VO2 max is a crucial measure of the body's ability to use oxygen during intense exercise, and improving cardio fitness is essential for avoiding cardiovascular problems and prolonging lives
  • The level of cardiorespiratory fitness is a strong indicator of the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality
  • Both high-intensity interval training and endurance training have been shown to elicit significant improvements in VO2 max, with high-intensity interval training resulting in greater gains
  • Additionally, low-intensity activity, such as fidgeting, has been shown to have health benefits, and even small increases in activity can have a positive impact on health
  • The key takeaway is that any amount of movement is better than none, and incorporating regular physical activity into daily routines is crucial for overall health
  • Finding a balance and incorporating movement throughout the day, even in small ways like taking the stairs or increasing the number of steps, is important
  • Ultimately, the focus should be on creating an exercise regime driven by health benefits rather

1. Understanding Cardio and Strength Exercises for Busy Working Mothers

  • Cardio exercise does not include activities like weightlifting or strength training.
  • Anaerobic activities mean the body is creating movement without using oxygen.
  • Cardio activities utilize cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems to draw oxygen into the muscles.
  • The main benefits of aerobic exercise are more internal, improving the capacity of the heart and muscles to utilize oxygen.
  • VO2max is the best way to measure the capacity of the heart and muscles to utilize oxygen.

2. Importance of Cardio Fitness and VO2 Max for Health

  • Improving cardio fitness is important to avoid cardiovascular problems and prolong lives in general
  • Designing exercise routines to boost the health of the cardio system is crucial while being realistic about busy lives
  • VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can use during intense or maximal exercise.
  • The higher your VO2 max the better your cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems are functioning.
  • The level of someone's cardiorespiratory fitness is a very strong indicator of their risk of getting certain cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality.
  • Cardio fitness level can predict not just the risk of heart disease, but also the risk of dying from anything, and it's more reliable than weight.

3. Optimizing Exercise Benefits: HIIT vs. Endurance Training

  • When it comes to cardio and exercise in general, anything is better than nothing and more is better than less.
  • Three main things to optimize the health benefits of exercise are intensity, duration, and frequency.
  • Both high-intensity interval training and endurance training elicited large improvements in the VO2 max of healthy young to middle-aged adults.
  • The gains in VO2 max were greater with the high-intensity interval training compared with the more classical endurance training.
  • Less time is needed to obtain health benefits with very high intensity sessions.
  • One study has shown as little as six times 10 to 20 second sprints per week has been shown to improve fitness by almost 10% within two months.

4. Exploring the Benefits and Frequency of Low Intensity Exercise

  • Low intensity activity has been shown to have a number of health benefits
  • Even very low intensity activity, like fidgeting, might be enough to have health benefits
  • Just lifting your heel off the floor repeatedly while sitting down can lower the rise in blood sugar after meals by as much as 50%
  • Lower intensity activity was enough to have a beneficial effect on the risk of death
  • People who exercised more vigorously had an even lower risk than those who exercised more moderately
  • Increasing the intensity of the exercise can allow individuals to achieve the same benefits with less than 150 minutes of exercise

5. Impact of Physical Activity on Daily Life and Work-from-Home Effects

  • Something is better than nothing, but more is better than less.
  • Movement is key and doing it relatively frequently, trying to incorporate some into our daily routine can be helpful.
  • Finding what works for you is probably key.
  • Life is also about compromises.
  • Exercise regime driven by health benefits rather than the joy of going to the gym
  • Most beneficial effects come from going from very low or nothing to something
  • Physical activity goes beyond gym sessions and includes small things like taking the stairs or increasing the number of steps throughout the day
  • Working from home reduces physical activity compared to working in the office
  • It is important to incorporate movement throughout the day and build it into the schedule
  • Being less active while working from home can be challenging, but adding activities into the day can help