Cardio & The Importance of Hydration During Exercise - Virgin Pure

By Ross Garshong

Cardio & The Importance of Hydration During Exercise - Virgin Pure

It's not every day that we get health and fitness lessons from a pro-bodybuilder, so we took this opportunity to ask Ross Garshong about starting a new cardio regime and which method he finds to be the most effective, as well as highlighting the importance of hydration during exercise.

What is cardio?

Cardiovascular exercise is exercise that gets your heart rate up. Though some people use it solely for weight loss, cardio has other benefits as well. It is any rhythmic exercise that raises your heart rate into your target heart rate zone. This is the zone where you burn the most of your fat and calories. Whether you’re an athlete or a fitness fanatic the importance of hydration during exercise is vital.

The importance of hydration during exercises such as cardio

It’s important to make sure you are drinking water during a workout. Being dehydrated can affect your energy levels, and you’ll find that you won’t be able to work as hard if you do not have enough fluid in your system. Drinking little and often rather than a lot less often will give you the best chance of hitting your exercise targets.

One way to know when you should be drinking water during a workout is to respond to what your body tells you. If you feel thirsty you really need to drink as your body is already showing signs that it needs to take on more fluid. 

Types of cardio exercise and the benefits of drinking water during each workout

When it comes to cardio there are two main players: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Steady State (SS).

SS - Steady State Cardio

You pick a pace, typically at a heart rate at which you can maintain a conversation but will still work up a bit of a sweat. This is typically done aerobically which means your body is able to use oxygen to release energy.

Doing 45-minute steady exercises on a treadmill, stair climber, bike or elliptical is a great way to implement a cardio programme in your exercise regime. Make sure with any form of exercise that you understand the benefits of drinking water during exercise, you don’t want to start exercising and feel as though you aren’t giving yourself a sufficient amount of water.

Pro = Typically easy to do as the pace is down to the individual, just don't stop!

Con = A long amount of time will needed to be spent to maximise the benefits - 25mins plus!

HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training

Can be completed a variety of ways but the main premise is a burst of time spent at an intensity you could not maintain, jumping between aerobic and anaerobic thresholds, then an active recovery at a rate you can drop your heart back down to a level where you can aim at the higher intensity again.

Make sure to listen to your body and understand the importance of hydration during exercise.

Pro = If completed properly should last around 10-15 minutes max, studies have shown due to a higher epoc (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) effect, your metabolism will be boosted from as long as 12 hours after.

Con = Tends to be rather taxing on the body and central nervous system, not everyone is fit enough to train at high intensities safely.

So, which cardio exercise is better!?

Depends on you, I always recommend everyone start off with steady state cardio especially if you don't have much of a fitness base from sports or other exercise. For those well attuned to their bodies, the honest answer is whichever you enjoy the most.

The progress of technology is a blessing and a curse to our modern society, (rant incoming) our physiology has not changed much, but we live sedentary lifestyles and have an abundance of food, in contrast to use once upon a time being active and food scarce.

The importance of hydration goes beyond the workout

It's not just about what you do to your body, it's also about what you put into it. And one thing that never changes is the need for proper hydration. So, always keep in mind the importance of hydration during exercise

When our body is dehydrated our metabolism can drop by as much as 30%!

So to get the most out of ourselves it's imperative we keep ourselves well hydrated to obtain and sustain optimal health and vitality, so get moving! And look out for the most common dehydration signs

Ross Garshong is a personal trainer and competitive bodybuilder (5th place IFBB A.Olympia Finalist), so when it comes to health and fitness, there’s nothing this guy doesn't know. 

When he’s not training, his passion lies in understanding our bodies composition and what we can do to maximise our intake of fuel in order to perform at a top level.

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