Intervals for Cardio


Health Benefits of Cardio Exercise

What is cardio exercise?  Cardio is short for cardiovascular, which relates to both the heart and blood vessels.  Cardio exercise, also called aerobic exercise, in its simplest definition is any exercise that increases the heart rate and the body's need for oxygen for an extended period of time.  Activities such as walking, jogging, training on cardio equipment, aerobic classes, and spinning classes are some examples of cardio exercise.  Cardio exercise improves the efficiency of the cardiorespiratory system, which consists of the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and blood. 

Cardio training also provides many other important health benefits.  Make it a regular part of your fitness program to reap these major health benefits.

Major Health Benefits of Cardio Exercise

Controls body weight:  Lowers body fat and keeps it off by burning calories and increasing metabolism.  Also, regular cardio exercise helps curb your appetite.

Reduces risk of harmful or fatal health issues:  Cardio training reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancer, osteoporosis, and obesity.  Also, it helps manage high blood pressure and control blood sugar levels. 

Controls arterial plaque buildup:  Raises good cholesterol (HDL - high-density lipoprotein) and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL - low-density lipoprotein).

Strengthens heart:  A stronger heart pumps blood more efficiently which in turn lowers your resting heart rate.  As the heart becomes stronger a larger amount of blood can be pumped with each stroke which improves blood flow throughout the body, therefore fewer strokes are required for circulation.

Strengthens lungs:  Lung capacity increases as the lungs become stronger so you can breathe more air with one breath which in turn lowers your resting respiratory rate.

Increases stamina:  Enables you to tackle physical activities more easily.

Stimulates immune system:  Makes you less prone to mild viral infections, such as colds or flu.

Improves Mental Health:  Improves mental capacity, calms the mind, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps treat and prevent depression.

Increases Life span:  People who follow an exercise program generally live longer than those who don't exercise regularly.  Exercising helps you stay active and independent as you age because it helps you maintain mobility and fitness, and keeps your mind sharp.