Cardio on a regular basis, ideally performed on most days of the week for 30 to 45 minutes, will help us to live a longer and healthier life. The body will physiologically go through several changes during cardiovascular exercises; examples include running, cycling or swimming. The body will increase its use of oxygen, produce hormones and chemicals, body temperature increases, heart rate increases and breathing increases. Many of these changes lead to many health benefits when cardio is done routinely.
1. Cardiovascular Health
One of the main benefits of cardio is its positive effect on cardiovascular health. Being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases risk of forming blood clots which may lead to stroke or heart attack. In simplest terms physical activity works the heart muscle and the more we work the muscle (by performing cardio) the heart muscle will become stronger.
2. Natural Mood booster
Cardio will make you feel happier and more cognitively alert. Physical activity triggers the brain to produce more of the feel good hormones which will lead to feeling more positive and happy in your everyday life. It will also enhance the brains memory function, decision making and problem solving skills. Dopamine is released during and after cardio exercise which elevates your mood and helps fine tune your learning skills and attention span. Serotonin is also a mood booster which is produced; along with norephinepherine which sharpens attention, perception, and motivation.
3. Weight control
Cardio will help control your body weight. To lose weight we must use more calories than we consume. Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories burned. Regular exercise will help you to burn calories so you can control your body weight or lose those extra pounds you may have gained.
4. Increased metabolism
When we discuss metabolism in the context of fitness it is a very complex process; in simple terms we are essentially referring to a how much calories the body is able to burn at rest. Cardio is one way to increase the body’s metabolism. Having a higher metabolism will lead to being able to maintain your weight and less likely to gain unwanted pounds.
With the end of the year coming up do not delay. Start today! Get moving and get fit and healthy!