What is Mixed Cardio? The Benefits and How to Get Started.
Cardiovascular exercise is an essential part of any fitness routine, and mixed cardio is a fantastic way to take your workouts to the next level. In this article, we will discuss what mixed cardio is, the benefits of mixed cardio, how to incorporate it into your workout routine, and some safety tips to keep in mind.
What is Mixed Cardio?
Mixed cardio is a type of cardiovascular exercise that combines different types of activities in a single workout session. The idea behind mixed cardio is to challenge your body in different ways, prevent boredom, and burn more calories. This can include activities such as running, cycling, swimming, rowing, jumping rope, or any other form of aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate and improves your cardiovascular fitness.
Benefits of mixed cardio
Mixed cardio, which combines different types of aerobic exercise into a single workout session, has been shown to offer a number of benefits for overall health and fitness. Here are some of the benefits of mixed cardio, backed by scientific studies:
Increased calorie burn: One study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that participants who did mixed cardio burned more calories during their workout than those who did a single type of exercise. This is because mixed cardio engages different muscle groups and energy systems in the body, leading to greater calorie burn.
Improved cardiovascular health: A review of multiple studies published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that mixed cardio can improve cardiovascular health by reducing resting heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. This is because mixed cardio challenges the heart and lungs in different ways, leading to greater cardiovascular fitness.
Better endurance: Another study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that mixed cardio can improve endurance by increasing the body’s ability to use oxygen during exercise. This is because mixed cardio engages both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems in the body, leading to improved endurance.
Increased muscle strength: Some mixed cardio activities, such as rowing and swimming, engage the upper body muscles in addition to the legs. This can lead to increased muscle strength and tone in the upper body.
Reduced risk of injury: By mixing up your workout routine and engaging different muscle groups, you can reduce your risk of overuse injuries that can occur when doing the same type of exercise repeatedly.
Overall, mixed cardio offers a number of benefits for overall health and fitness. By incorporating a mix of activities into your workout routine, you can improve your cardiovascular health, burn more calories, increase endurance and muscle strength, and reduce the risk of injury.
How To Get Started With Mixed Cardio
Getting started with mixed cardio is easy and can be done by anyone, regardless of your fitness level. Here are some steps to help you get started with mixed cardio:
1. Assess your fitness level: Before starting any new exercise program, it’s important to assess your current fitness level. This will help you determine what type of exercises you are capable of doing and how intense your workouts should be.
2. Choose your activities: Choose the type of aerobic exercises you enjoy and mix them up. For example, you could choose running, cycling, swimming, rowing, jumping rope, or any other type of activity that gets your heart rate up.
3. Create a plan: Develop a workout plan that includes a mix of activities and sets achievable goals. Start with shorter workouts and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercises as you build endurance.
4. Mix up your routine: To prevent boredom and challenge your body, mix up your routine by changing the type of activity, duration, and intensity of each exercise.
5. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts to stay hydrated and maintain energy levels.
6. Listen to your body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust your workouts accordingly. Take breaks when needed and don’t push yourself too hard too quickly.
By following these steps, you can start incorporating mixed cardio into your fitness routine and reap the benefits of improved cardiovascular health, increased endurance, and calorie burning. Remember to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program and to have fun with your workouts!
How to incorporate mixed cardio into your workout routine
If you’re interested in incorporating mixed cardio into your workout routine, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, create a plan that includes different activities. For example, you could start with a five-minute warm-up on the elliptical, followed by 20 minutes of running on the treadmill, then 10 minutes of rowing, and finish with five minutes of jumping rope. Secondly, alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity exercises. For example, you could alternate between sprinting and jogging on the treadmill, or between fast and slow laps in the pool. Thirdly, vary the duration and intensity of each activity. For example, you could do 30-second sprints followed by 30 seconds of recovery, or you could increase the incline on the treadmill to make the workout more challenging. Finally, monitor your progress and adjust your plan accordingly. If you find that one activity is too easy or too difficult, adjust the duration or intensity to suit your needs.
Safety tips for mixed cardio
As with any exercise, it’s essential to keep safety in mind when doing mixed cardio. Firstly, warm up and cool down properly. Warming up before exercise can help prevent injury and improve performance, while cooling down after exercise can help reduce soreness and improve recovery. Secondly, wear appropriate gear and footwear. Depending on the activity, you may need different types of shoes or clothing to protect your feet and prevent injury. Thirdly, stay hydrated. Drinking enough water before, during, and after exercise is essential for maintaining optimal performance and preventing dehydration. Finally, listen to your body and rest when needed. If you feel tired or sore, take a break or reduce the intensity of your workout.
1. Treadmill HIIT workout: Start with a five-minute warm-up, then alternate between 30 seconds of sprinting and 30 seconds of recovery for 20 minutes. Finish with a five-minute cool-down.
2. Rowing and cycling circuit: Do three sets of 10 minutes each, alternating between five minutes of rowing and five minutes of cycling. Rest for two minutes between sets.
3. Swimming and jumping rope interval workout: Swim one lap as fast as you can, then jump rope for one minute. Repeat for 20 minutes.
4. Elliptical and stair climber circuit: Do three sets of 10 minutes each, alternating between five minutes on the elliptical and five minutes on the stair climber. Rest for two minutes between sets.
5. Outdoor mixed cardio workout: Start with a 10-minute jog, then sprint for 30 seconds and do 10 jumping jacks. Repeat for 20 minutes. Finish with a 10-minute cool-down walk.
These are just a few examples of mixed cardio workouts, but the possibilities are endless. The key is to mix up your routine by incorporating different types of exercises and changing the intensity and duration of each activity. This will not only prevent boredom but also challenge your body in new ways, leading to improved fitness and better overall health.
Mixed cardio is an excellent way to take your workouts to the next level. By combining different types of activities in a single workout session, you can burn more calories, reduce boredom, and challenge your body in different ways. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete, incorporating mixed cardio into your workout routine can help you achieve your fitness goals and improve your overall health and well-being. Remember to keep safety in mind, stay hydrated, and listen to your body to ensure a safe and effective workout.