If you want to improve your mood, keep your brain from the decline coming with aging, and stay in good shape, aerobic exercise is one of the best all-natural ways to do so. A workout that gets your sweat flowing and heart pumping — known as cardio workout, cardio exercise, cardiovascular exercise, or simply cardio — has numerous effects on the body and brain alike. It’s key for both your heart and your head.
When talking about cardio, many people only think of weight loss. Wrong! Cardio refers to any movement or exercise that can get the heart rate up while increasing blood circulation. There’s a wide range of cardio forms, each of which brings lots of benefits besides fat loss.
Here are the most significant health benefits of performing cardio workouts.
1. Better Heart Health
As its name suggests, cardio is meant to improve your heart health. Just like any other muscle of your body, the heart should be worked on a regular basis to become stronger. Without a regular work, your heart will get weak as time progresses. Keep in mind that this may give rise to different heart and cardiovascular diseases over time.
You can keep your heart healthy and in shape by getting it pumping faster. Many people are feeling short of breath when running a little farther or performing light exercises like climbing the stairs. That’s because those people neglect to exercise their heart. This is where cardio workouts come in.
2. Increased Metabolism
The next reason for performing cardiovascular exercises is to boost your metabolism. Aside from accelerating heart rate, cardio workouts also increase the rate of different processes in your body, also referred to as metabolism. The more vigorous cardio exercises, the faster metabolism is. A fast metabolic rate means better weight maintenance and weight loss.
3. Lower Risk of Dementia and Memory Difficulties
Middle-aged people who’re physically fit have less chances of getting dementia compared to their peers who’re unfit or just moderately fit. This is all about the links between decreased dementia risk and regular exercise, i.e. a powerful relation between brain health and fitness.
Cardio workouts may also guard the immune system against age-related cognitive decline and protect you against reduced brain connectivity that often develops with age. Likewise, cardio can prevent some memory difficulties from developing in people who are undergoing chemotherapy.
4. Better Diabetes Management
For people with diabetes, cardio exercise plays a vital role in managing this condition. In fact, cardio helps them to improve muscular strength and utilize glucose. It turns out that people who regularly exercise have enhanced control of blood sugars. Besides, they don’t have unexpected blood sugar swings so often, which is of utmost importance to their health given that they’re extremely sensitive to blood sugar changes.
5. Improved Cholesterol Levels
It has emerged that cardio exercise is closely tied to LDL reduction. This so-called “bad cholesterol” builds up on the arterial walls and blood vessels, thereby raising the risk of stroke and heart diseases. Cardio workouts are also associated with HDL increases, also referred to as “good cholesterol.” The cholesterol gets mobilized in your blood when you perform the intense aerobic exercise. That’s why moderate-intensity prolonged workouts are recommended for sedentary people.
6. Less Stress, Good Mood
Cardio has a unique ability to relax and exhilarate by providing calm and stimulation to our body. On the other hand, it dissipates stress and counters depression. Aerobic workouts appear to boost our spirits by lowering the levels of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Aside from boosting your mood naturally, cardio has a positive influence on depressed people. That’s a great way to bust a bad mood and stay in a good mood all the time.
7. Weight Loss
To lose weight, many dieters exercise or add a physical activity to their everyday routine. That can increase fatigue, make you hungry, and cause injuries though. It’s a good idea to start slowly by building a day-by-day workout plan in order to lose weight and improve fitness. Once you’ve been cleared, you can engage a personal trainer or join a local gym. Also, there’s a plethora of home exercise programs and cardio workouts that can be performed at your home. The choice is yours.
Now that you know the most important health benefits of cardio, use this knowledge to your advantage and perform cardio workouts steadily. As a beginner, make sure not to overdo it, as spending a long time on a fitness machine won’t give you further benefits. Instead, gradually increase the intensity rather than the volume of your cardio and make the most of your workout sessions. Your best choice is to combine cardio workout and panoramic views. That will keep you motivated.