We are constantly reminded of the importance of cardio and the benefits of cardio for our bodies. is cardio necessary for health? Read on and find out all you need to know about cardio goodness…
What does cardio do for you?
What is cardio?
Also known as cardiovascular exercises, these are rhythmic activities that increase one’s breathing rate as well as heart rate. Cardio is probably the first word you will hear whenever you enroll in an exercise program. These exercises are essential for any workout program, be it weight loss, fitness, or just a simple home exercise program to help you become healthier.
These exercises normally increase one’s endurance because the idea behind them is to push yourself to the point of almost running out of breath… the point where one can burn the most calories and fat. They raise out cardiorespiratory endurance. Even weight loss cardio routines that are as short as 10 minutes contribute to the health benefits associated with accrued amounts of physical activity.
Such exercises include (but aren’t limited to) walking, jogging, running, aerobics, cycling, swimming, playing soccer, even heavy gardening… Basically, any activity that gets your blood pumping.
Keep reading as we learn about the importance of cardio and tips on how to successfully integrate them into your workout routine.
Benefits of cardio
No matter how short a time you dedicate to weight loss cardio routines, here are some of the reasons why is cardio good for you.
Burns fat and calories for weight loss
A cardio routine helps one lose weight because it helps our bodies to burn more calories and boost metabolism. Fitness gurus all the world over have testified about the power of cardio in helping people shed fat as well as keeping it off.
If you really want to feel the maximum effects of cardio exercise, do a cardio routine 5 times a week. You will get better and faster results when you work out more often. Don’t overdo it. Consistency is more important than the quantity of exercises. So you will get better results with a daily 15-minute workout 5 times a week than with a 75-minute one done once a week.
Improves cardiovascular health
Why is cardio important? The American Heart Association has the answer for you. These exercises strengthen the heart’s endurance so that it’s not overworked when performing its usual function of pumping the blood. Doctors recommend cardio workouts because they reduce the risk of heart disease by improving the heart’s efficiency.
These exercises also help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels hence increasing good cholesterol levels. This helps manage symptoms of high blood pressure as blood circulation improves.
If you are still wondering why is cardio good for you, these exercises are a great mood booster. They even significantly reduce the symptoms of depression. Studies can back this up. Engaging in cardiovascular exercises, even for a short period of time can really have a positive effect on a person’s moods hence reducing one’s stress levels. Do you want to know how amazingly fast exercises work on a person’s mood? You don’t need a week to see improvements. A single session is a good enough mood booster.
Trouble sleeping at night? Do some cardio during the hours when you are awake. Regular exercise is an effective remedy for insomnia. Related to the mood-boosting benefit above, it seems that better mood = better sleep, both in quality and duration. This also increases one’s vitality and wakefulness during the daytime.
A small word of caution: Don’t exercise just before bedtime as it might make it much harder to sleep. Ensure that you complete your workout, at least two hours before getting into bed in order to improve your sleep efficiency.
Still wondering what does cardio do for you? Well, this one should give you the necessary motivation to take the stairs. There is lots of research that supports the relationship between exercise and sex. Sex boosts desire, arousal as well as overall sexual satisfaction. Regular cardio exercise is a known aphrodisiac. Here is how cardio helps improve your sex life:
- It makes you look and feel sexy and sexually desirable
- It gets you in shape hence helping you perform better
- Better mood = better hotter sex
- Improves blood circulation hence the sexual response which means more intense orgasms.
- Increases one’s strength and flexibility hence better sex positions
Strengthens immune system
Is cardio necessary for health? Regular and moderate cardio exercises normally increase antibodies in our bodies called immunoglobulins. This is because, increased heartrate widens the blood vessels, also allowing for better flow of these antibodies that fight off viruses and infections in our bodies. This means a stronger immune system and higher cortisol levels.
Better brain function
At the age of 30, our brains tend to lose some of its tissue. The importance of cardio is that it slows down this loss hence improving brainpower.
The thing is: the brain needs constant flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients just as much as the rest of your body does to function. Increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain through exercise stimulates the creation of more neurons in the brain. Neurons on the other hand receive and send signals that dictate all functions of our bodies as well as the thought process. The more the neurons, the better the brain function.
Besides that the other aspect that the brain benefits from exercise is the improvement of both the short and long term memory. Cardiovascular exercise could just be the thing preventing you from developing conditions like Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s or slowing down the dentrimental effects of these diseases.
This means that aerobics or a little jogging is good for both body and mind.
Strengthens the lungs
This is another great benefit of regular cardiovascular exercises. They aid in maintaining an efficient breathing system. People with asthma have found engaging in simple cardio to ease a lot of congestion. Stronger lungs also increase physical performance because muscles need oxygen to function optimally. Working out helps promotes the production of more alveoli which absorb oxygen.
When the lungs are in tip top condition they also prevent respiratory conditions. It also makes performing cardio activities like climbing a flight of stairs less tedious.
The importance of cardio is that it also boosts one’s self-esteem. First off, exercising makes one healthier. And feeling healthy makes one feel better generally. Besides that, exercises also improve a person’s appearance hence increasing confidence in how one looks.
Reduces the risk of contracting some chronic diseases
Cardio exercises help prevent the risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
Which cardio is best?
What you really need to concern yourself with is why is cardio important. The thing is, the best cardio routine is the one that you enjoy the most or something you can tolerate. This is because you will feel more motivated to keep at it. The thing is any physical activity that can get that heart rate pumping is perfect. Even vigorous chores washing the car or raking leaves make the cut. Try and vary your activities and cardio routines so that you don’t get bored too easily.
The choices are many. If you are new to all this and have no idea what works for you, try out various activities.
The other thing you need to worry about is what is accessible to you. Chooses a routine that fits your personality as well as your lifestyle. For instance, if you have no treadmill, opt for a brisk walk. If you love the outdoors, then opt for things like running, cycling, and exercises along those lines. If you have a busy work schedule, break a little sweat while catching up on your favorite TV program.
Now you see? You have absolutely no excuse as to why you can’t get that blood pumping and the heart rate up. It can be as easy and as quick as you want it to be.
Is cardio necessary for health?
Yes. The good thing is that you don’t have to strain yourself with a whole hour of high-intensity workouts. The effects of cardio exercise can be felt even with a short episode of activity. Something as simple as a 15-minute brisk walk can really go a long way into boosting your mood as well as lowering blood pressure.
Even with a tight schedule, having seen the importance of cardio highlighted above should give you the motivation to squeeze in a few minutes every day. Just a few minutes of cardio a day is better than zero. So what are you waiting for?
All you need to succeed with your cardio routine is determination and consistency. You don’t need fancy equipment or gym enrolment. Just find something that you love doing that is accessible to you and get on with it. As I said, all you need is just a few minutes…
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