Don’t Sweat Cardio: The Holistic Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise

Benefits of cardio

Cardiovascular exercise (or cardio, for short) is any type of physical activity that increases heart rate and blood circulation. It is a crucial component to any fitness program or plan, and therefore very important in weight management.

However, cardio sometimes has an unfair reputation. We like to conjure up images of sweating profusely on a long run or doing a set of mountain climbers. You’ve probably heard many people complain about dreading their cardio workouts. If this sounds like you, try looking at cardio exercise in a new light by learning how it helps your body. You might just gain a better appreciation for it.

The Body in Motion

In today’s world, being sedentary is easy when we have convenience all around us. We spend so much of our time at a desk, in our vehicles, on our couches and in our beds. We can find the answer to almost any question we have by sending a message or browsing the web. Our busy schedules, paired with the convenience of modern living, don’t leave much room for the amount of physical activity we need.

Our bodies, on the other hand, are made to move. When we don’t move, we get exhausted, tense, sore, and anxious. But with regular physical activity comes more energy, better mental clarity, and confidence. Cardio exercise plays a large role in the benefits of physical activity.

Benefits of Cardio Exercise

Cardio exercise should be a part of your daily or weekly routine. Standard guidelines suggest 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week, or vigorous exercise 20 minutes/day, three days/week. Your time commitment should reflect your personal goals, health status and lifestyle factors.

Regular cardio exercise has incredible health benefits, including:

  • Weight-loss or weight maintenance
  • Reduced feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Decreased risk for depression
  • More energy and motivation
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Reduced risk of diseases and health conditions
  • Greater confidence, self-esteem and body image

Incorporating Cardio into Your Fitness Routine

Cardio exercise is as simple as increasing your heart rate and getting your blood pumping. It doesn’t mean you have to spend an hour on the treadmill each day or sweat yourself to exhaustion. Just try adding more movement into your day with greater intensity that will gradually strengthen your heart, lungs and blood.

Here are some examples:

  • Going on a power walk before or after dinner
  • Riding a bike on different terrains
  • Doing laps in the pool
  • Doing a set of jumping jacks
  • Aerobic dancing (like Zumba)

Are you ready to start making cardio a part of your lifestyle? First, talk to your healthcare provider about where to begin and how to set appropriate goals. CLICK HERE to read about getting started on your fitness journey and bringing cardio movement into your routine.

Learn. Connect. Engage.

learn, connect, engage icons

Gain the tools you need to succeed in your health journey. Join the OAC Community at NO COST and get access to: Valuable Education – Ongoing Support – Meaningful Connections – Much More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *