The Benefits of Cardio Exercise
Cardiovascular exercise is one of the most important things for health. It keeps your physical and mental health in the best shape that they can be, and it doesn't have many adverse effects unless you find yourself doing it way too much. Cardio exercise is so beneficial that we will dedicate an entire article to sing its praises! And the benefits go beyond weight loss, which seems to be stealing the spotlight lately. As we discussed previously, there is more to health than weight!
First up, as the name suggests, cardiovascular exercise is great for your cardiovascular health. That means it's beneficial to your heart and circulatory system. Aerobic exercise is one of the fundamental ways to get your heart beating faster and stronger to increase its health in the long run. The more you do, the better it gets! That also means it's great for your arteries and veins too, lowering your risk of heart disease and cardiac episodes. This makes it the superman of exercise - it's awesome!
Cardio exercise is also incredible at helping your lungs. All that extra beating means you need more oxygen in your blood. That means your lungs are getting a workout too. As they get stronger and stronger, your maximum lung capacity and lung efficiency improve, helping you become a healthier person both in and out of exercise. It's pretty incredible!
As your lungs get stronger from all of the great cardio exercise you're doing, your stamina improves too. The heart and the lungs working together as efficiently as possible means you can go further. And further. And further - you get the gist. Your stamina will be at its peak! And you'll find both exercise and daily life a lot easier as you have more energy and it takes less effort doing the little things as well as the big.
Another useful benefit of cardio exercise is how it can affect your movement. Again, this is for everyone across the board. Flexibility is not always a concern for many people, but it is a prevalent issue that often results in an injury if not worked on. It's all well and good lifting weights to improve your physique, but if you don't work on your flexibility, you're just waiting to pull a muscle. Cardio is great for getting you moving naturally and safely. You'll see the results almost instantly!
This one is a little controversial. Despite common belief, doing cardio exercise isn't all about losing weight. The more exercise you do, and with greater intensity, the more muscle you'll build in that exercise. Your legs, in particular, tend to see the benefit of cardio, especially with running and cycling. Even swimming is incredible for a full body workout, and your muscle mass will increase because of it!
Although it's not all about losing weight, a lot of it still is. No one can argue that. Cardio is an awesome way for you to burn off a huge number of calories in one workout. That's vital for successful weight loss, especially if you can do it regularly enough! If you want to lose fat but nothing else, then try LISS for high-fat burn per calorie, especially if you're trying to really show those muscles. Losing weight in general? Try HIIT. There's something for everyone to help your weight get to where you want it.
All of this exercise is hungry work, or is it? Another of the awesome benefits of cardio exercise is how it changes your metabolism. Dieting is great for losing weight, but not always for keeping it off. Throw cardio in there, and you have the magic combination. Exercise is a great way to get you feeling happier and reaching your fitness goals in a more sustainable way. It boosts your metabolism and keeps things running as high as they can be, and that's perfect for weight loss!
Finally, we have the effects of cardio on mental health. It may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it's an important one. When you exercise, you release endorphins. That's the short-term mood booster, and it's great for regulating pretty much everything. Long term, as you exercise, you help develop a stronger, more positive relationship with yourself and your lifestyle, making you happier, healthier and likely to have a much better attitude too. It helps with anxiety and depression symptoms and even makes you more motivated outside of exercise. It is awesome!
Ultimately, these are just a few of the biggies that we've listed. Exercise and cardio, in particular, has more benefits that we can list, with even more being discovered constantly. Any exercise is good exercise, and cardio is up there with the best. Just make sure you're doing it right, whatever you decide to do. Recover, relax and find the life balance you need between whatever else you have going on. Exercise is part of a lifestyle, not a temporary fix. For a rough guide on how much to do, check out this NHS link too!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.