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Benefits of Cardio Exercise

 

 

 

By Diane Hanson

You are often told that regular exercise is good for you, but do you know that cardio exercise is particularly beneficial for your overall health and well-being?

 

Cardio exercise, or areobic exercise refers to a wide range of physical activities that use the major muscle groups in the body (such as muscles in your legs and arms) in a continuous manner, and cause your heart rate to increase.

 

There are a multitude of physical activities and sports that can be considered as cardio exercise. For example, walking, running, swimming, as well as rope jumping. Rowing, biking and doing step aerobic exercises also fall under this category of cardio training.

 

The health benefits of cardio exercise are well documented in numerous medical studies, ranging from weight loss to increasing lung capacity and strengthening your heart. Let's have a quick look at a few of them:

 

1. Aids Weight Control

Cardio exercise plays an important role in weight reduction and weight control because it burns excess calories. When you burn off more calories than you consume, weight loss will occur. According to the Mayo Clinic, 35 minutes of low impact aerobics can melt away approximately 300 calories.

Moreover, regular cardio training helps you build muscles to burn more calories and stored fats, even at rest. Therefore weight loss becomes a lot easier and faster to achieve.

However, cardio exercise alone will not always result in weight loss. Exercise along with a healthy, low-fat diet is a surefire way to reduce excess weight and keep it off for life.

 

 

2. Prevents Heart Disease

Regular cardio activity can also help prevent heart disease by lowering high blood pressure and bad cholesterol while reducing your risk for lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Apart from strengthening your heart muscles to fight heart-related problems, cardio activities will help improve the lungs function as well.

In addition to its heart-protecting benefits, weight-bearing aerobic activities such as dancing and walking will also help build up bone strength, thereby reducing your risk of osteoporosis.

 

 

3. Improves Self Image

Cardio exercise also provides amazing mental health benefits. It can naturally increase serotonin levels, the "feel good" brain chemical, which make you feel happier, less depressed and less stressed.

Because of the positive physical health effects of exercise – improved muscle tone and weight loss  – you will have greater self esteem and healthy body image. Additionally, cardio activity is also a natural sleep aid, which leads to a more positive mental attitude in your life.

 


 

To reap the maximum benefits from cardio exercise, it is recommended that you engage in at least 30 minutes of moderately intense cardio activity, at least five days a week. If you have not been active for awhile, try to do 5 minutes of low-intensity activity such as walk on the spot to warm up, and then start your cardio workout at a lower intensity. Don't forget to finish off your exercise session with a series of gentle stretches to cool down and maintain muscle flexibility.

 

When you are ready for more vigorous cardio training, gradually increase the intensity of the workout by increasing the duration.

 

cardio exercise benefits

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