What Is Cardio? Why Is It Good For?
It’s as important to being healthy and looking good as lifting weights and does much more than just help you lose a couple of pounds! Here is a definition and ten reasons why you should cherish the idea of doing cardio.
What Is Cardio?
The word “cardio” is short for “cardiovascular,” a term used for the circulatory system consisting of the heart and blood vessels in your body.
What people refer to when saying they “do cardio”?
Aerobic exercise is sometimes known as “cardio”- exercise that requires pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart to deliver oxygen to working muscles. Aerobic exercise stimulates the heart rate and breathing rate to increase in a way that can be sustained for the exercise session.
Any activity that gets your heart rate to about 50 – 75% of your maximum heart rate can be classified as cardio. You can roughly calculate your maximum with the formula 220 minus your age. If you are forty years old, for example, it’s 220 – 40 = 180.
Does it only work with specific fitness activities? No. As long as you get into the above range, it doesn’t matter what you do. Go for running, biking, dancing, tennis, skateboarding or whatever else you prefer.
But why would we deliberately choose to do this, make our hearts beat faster and get all sweaty and exhausted? There are 10 good reasons:
1.Keep excess pounds at bay
Combined with a healthy diet, aerobic exercise helps you lose weight and keep it off.
2.Increase your stamina
Aerobic exercise may make you tired in the short term. But over the long term, you’ll enjoy increased stamina and reduced fatigue.
3.Ward off viral illnesses
Aerobic exercise may activate your immune system. This may leave you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.
4.Reduce your health risks
Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke and certain types of cancer.Weight-bearing aerobic exercises, such as walking, reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
5.Manage chronic conditions
Aerobic exercise may help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar. If you have coronary artery disease, aerobic exercise may help you manage your condition.
6.Strengthen your heart
A stronger heart doesn’t need to beat as fast. A stronger heart also pumps blood more efficiently, which improves blood flow to all parts of your body.
7.Keep your arteries clear
Aerobic exercise boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good,” cholesterol, and lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad,” cholesterol. This may result in less buildup of plaques in your arteries.
8.Boost your mood
Aerobic exercise may ease the gloominess of depression, reduce the tension associated with anxiety and promote relaxation.
9.Stay active and independent as you age
Aerobic exercise keeps your muscles strong, which can help you maintain mobility as you get older.Aerobic exercise also keeps your mind sharp. At least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week appears to reduce cognitive decline in older adults.
Studies show that people who participate in regular aerobic exercise live longer than those who don’t exercise regularly.