Do you have questions about cardio equipment, workouts or exercises? Maybe you’re interested in toning up a little and losing that extra 5-10 pounds of body fat that’s been hanging around for a while. We have included several important cardio questions from real people just like you. We provide detailed and in-depth answers along with helpful exercise advice and training tips so you can shed those extra pounds safely and effectively!
Cardiovascular exercise involves activities like running, swimming, cycling or walking. It is also called aerobic exercise which basically means any activity that stimulates your heart rate and elevates breathing for a longer period of time. It is different from anaerobic exercise, like weight lifting or bodybuilding, because it involves the use of oxygen so muscles can contract repeatedly without fatigue. Aerobic, or cardio exercise, is usually less stressful to your muscles, joints and ligaments than anaerobic exercise. Cardio exercise is perfect for people who want to lose weight and burn fat but it’s also important for people who aren’t overweight because it has great benefits for the entire body. Let us now discuss some of the main benefits of cardiovascular exercise and how it can help you.
Improves Mental Health
Do you wonder how running or swimming can affect your brain? You might be thinking, “My brain doesn’t do the running, so how can it get the benefits?” Well, it can. Have you ever experienced that euphoric feeling when you go jogging? How about the difference in mood between sitting in front of the TV versus getting outside and running on the beach? That feeling is caused by chemicals called endorphins that are released in the brain whenever you’re exercising. These endorphins have the same positive effect on our brain as dopamine which is the “happy chemical”.
But that is not the end of the mental health benefits of cardio. A study published in “Trends in Neurosciences” in 2009 by Henriette van Praag, PhD. showed that “aerobic exercise improves memory and learning in humans”. This is not the only study to confirm this finding. High amounts of evidence are mounting that shows exercise can help with memory and also reverse the decline of cognitive ability caused by old age.
This one is obvious. Any weight loss effort through diet should be accompanied by cardio exercise as well. Running vigorously for one hour a day burns off 700 to 850 calories. That’s the same amount of calories in one and a half Big Macs or a medium-sized cheese pizza! If you want to lose weight and stay thin, it’s very important to be active every day and move your body. Stop taking the car everywhere and start walking! Try to include 30-45 minutes of cardio each day for optimal health and also make sure to add some strength training workouts a few times per week to build muscle.
Makes Your Bones Stronger
You’ve probably heard that calcium and magnesium are important for bone strength but did you know that exercise can strengthen not only your muscles but your bones and ligaments too? Our bodies are very adaptable machines. If you run every day, that will send signals to your body to strengthen the bones and ligaments in your legs so it’s easier to cope with that exertion. A Japanese study from the “Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine”, found that running for only 30 minutes a day increases your bone mineral density and helps prevent osteoporosis (a debilitating bone disease).
Keeps Your Heart Healthy
It’s not called cardiovascular exercise for nothing! Doctors keep telling us that exercise will improve our hearts but we keep forgetting it. Running and other forms of cardio exercise are great ways to condition our cardiovascular system. People who regularly run have stronger hearts, cleaner arteries and a slower resting pulse rate. Their hearts are much more efficient than those of sedentary people because it takes less beats for their heart to pump the same amount of blood throughout their body.
As you can see, the health benefits of cardiovascular exercise are numerous so it’s vital to get started with an exercise program today. Your body is meant to move and be active and it will literally make you happier, thinner, stronger and healthier so you can live a longer life!
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