If you know me and have known me for awhile, you know that I love cardio. Sometimes this is cardio done in the gym only (I do like my controlled environment) and at other times it is outside only (bring on fresh air and variety). Many times it’s a combo of both. I can tend to go through extreme phases of never missing a particular style of group fitness class or logging in a certain number of running miles a week. Regardless of the form, I am a huge believer in cardiovascular training.
While you can’t balance out bad eating habits with cardio activity, here are some top benefits of a good, challenging and consistent cardio program.
- Aerobic (or cardio) exercise can INCREASE YOUR STAMINA. It may make you tired in the short term, but over the long term, you will notice a reduction in fatigue and more energy to do the things you love.
- STRENGTHEN YOUR HEART. By making your heart beat harder to increase the flow of blood to your body, your heart will become stronger and not need to beat as hard. It will become more efficient in pumping blood, which will improve blood flow to all parts of your body.
- BOOST YOUR MOOD. Moderate aerobic exercise can release endorphins which can help you cope with stress and make you feel more positive,
- SLEEP BETTER. Who doesn’t like or need this benefit! By doing a moderate intensity cardio program 3-4x/wk studies have shown that 54% fall asleep faster and 37% stay asleep longer.
- INCREASE BONE DENSITY. Regular cardio over a period of 6 months can INCREASE bone density by 12%.
- INCREASE YOUR METABOLISM. Generally speaking, the more intense the cardio session, the more noticeable increase you will see in your metabolism. An increased metabolism can assist in an easier time losing weight or maintaining weight loss.
- ENCOURAGES BRAIN GROWTH. Regular cardio activity improves attention, memory, accuracy as well as the rate at which you process information.
- HELP MANAGE CHRONIC CONDITIONS. Aerobic exercise may help to lower blood pressure and control blood sugar.
Regardless of your age, weight or athletic ability, cardiovascular activity is good for you. Starting today can help you feel better and enjoy life to it’s fullest.