The heart is a muscle to be healed on a daily basis, through adapted physical activity, and a healthy and balanced diet. However, not all sports shape the body the same; unlike strength sports, which favor one-off, sudden and intense effort, so-called “cardio” sports are activities based on breath, endurance, and continuous physical effort, through variations in rhythm and intensity, intended to strengthen the heart and improve its capacities.
So what are the best activities to develop your cardio, gain endurance and improve your overall physical condition? How do you get there? Here is a list of the top 10 sports for strengthening cardiovascular capacity.
What are the best sports to improve your cardio?
1. Running (or walking) on foot
Running, or even brisk walking, is one of the best sports for developing cardio. Very popular and particularly popular with athletes of all ages and conditions, they also have the advantage of being economical and easy to practice; outdoors or even indoors (on treadmills), these are activities open to all.
As an endurance sport, walking or running is a long-term strain, which continuously demands on the heart and helps improve breathing and control breathing.
To develop cardio, it is essential to vary the pace and intensity during exercise. It is indeed possible to run at the same pace throughout the race or even to do what is called interval training: varying between continuous speed and acceleration.
Another endurance sport, but in the water this time, swimming is also an ideal physical activity to work on your cardio. Its main advantage is that it is much softer on the joints, as it does not induce “contact” with the ground. In addition, water helps cool the body’s temperature naturally, which helps endure strain for longer periods of time, and promotes stretching of ligaments and tendons. As for the lying position of swimming, it allows better blood circulation to the heart muscle. Generally speaking, swimming works all the muscles in the body, and it is also recommended if you have back problems.
3. The bicycle
Commonly used in the recovery process of people with heart problems, cycling is an ideal endurance sport for maintaining the heart, due to the changing conditions of the road, which allow a natural variation in pace and intensity. These variations are also simulated indoors, through biking lessons (group indoor cycling lessons). It also greatly strengthens the muscles of the thighs and legs while preserving your back as long as you adopt a comfortable posture and keep your back straight.
4. Aerobics, or rhythmic gymnastics
Fitness, aerobics, rhythmic gymnastics, aquagym,… The majority of the disciplines associated with gymnastics are great allies of the heart muscle. Indeed, all offer dynamic, sustained training, practiced in rhythm, which stimulate the muscles of the arms and legs, reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, and improve the cardiovascular system, by working the breath and the body. endurance. The movements vary regularly in rhythm and intensity, without stopping.
5. Dance: Zumba, afro, Mouv’K
The dance consists of a series of rapid and rhythmic movements; this is what makes it an excellent discipline for working the heart muscle. Increasingly popular, as evidenced by the fervor that Zumba and Mouv’K have aroused for several years, it combines the useful with the pleasant by offering a fun and aesthetic activity. However, not all types of dance have the same characteristics when it comes to cardio, some being more effective than others.
Very energetic and particularly rhythmic, Afro-Latino dances, such as merengue, salsa, timba, or afro, are indeed one of the disciplines that most demand the heart, developing endurance, breath, and resistance to effort.