We know it’s the fastest way to help create the caloric deficit required to lose weight more quickly, but did you know there are many other benefits to adding regular cardio training to your exercise program?
What exactly is cardio?
Let’s start with the definition of just what cardio is. Cardiovascular is the term used for the circulatory system consisting of the heart and blood vessels in your body.
When you do cardio, you are exercising the system that permits blood to circulate and transport nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide, hormones, and blood to and from the cells in the body. This enhances the circulatory system which will make your heart and lungs more efficient.
A strong heart doesn’t need to beat as fast and pumps blood more efficiently which improves blood flow to all parts of the body.
What cardio does for your body
Regular cardio exercise boosts high-density lipoproteins (HDL, the “good” cholesterol”) and lowers low-density lipoproteins (LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.) This may result in less buildup of plaque in your arteries. Being consistent with your cardio may also reduce the tension associated with anxiety and promote relaxation.
Likewise, elevating your heart rate releases endorphins that can help you cope with stress which is a huge benefit in itself.
As you get older, cardiovascular exercise can keep your muscles strong which can help you maintain mobility and keep your mind sharp. Studies show that at least 30 minutes of cardio three days a week may reduce cognitive decline in older adults.
Now to start a cardio program!
There are clearly many more benefits to starting a regular cardio program than just helping to get rid of body fat faster.
When starting a cardio program, it is important to start slowly. If you have been inactive for a long time, check with your doctor and get an OK before you start and then begin by walking or lightly jogging.
Add a few minutes each session and start to pick up the pace a bit. Soon you’ll be able to maintain a brisk pace for at least 30 minutes which will help you to reap all the benefits of regular cardio activity.
Some days you may not feel like doing it but make NO EXCUSES! Just get it done. You will NEVER regret doing it once it’s done but you will feel guilty for missing it if you don’t take care of business.
There are many options for a good cardio program such as:
- Stair Climbing
- Elliptical Training
- Rowing Machine
Get your heart rate up at least 20-30 minutes 3 times per week to maximize the benefits of your cardio!