5 Reasons You Should Be Doing Cardio
At most gyms, you will find that many guys, if not most, are anti-cardio. Cardio often gets a bad reputation for burning muscle, eating away much-needed calories, and being a distraction from the more aesthetically rewarding world of weight training.
In a fast-paced world where people are pressed for time, something?s got to give, and that something is often cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise, however, has many benefits that go way beyond simply elevating heart rate and burning calories.
Hopefully the tips I am about to list will change your mind about cardiovascular exercise and why it is worth your time to incorporate it into your fitness regimen.
In a world where heart disease runs rampant, this is a primary benefit of cardiovascular exercise. Cardio helps to greatly reduce the chance of a heart attack and/or stroke.
In a study performed by Harvard University, nurses who engaged in vigorous exercise experienced significant reductions in coronary diseases.
This is an obvious one. Cardio burns calories which leads to weight loss. If your goal is fat loss, I would highly recommend doing high intensity interval training.
You can do this with every cardio exercise, but we will use cycling as the example. In this type of training, you would cycle at your top speed for about 30 seconds followed by a moderate speed for about a minute, followed by the 30 second sprint, etc.
This will elevate your heart rate and then bring it down. In this type of training, you will burn more calories in less time, and these calories will mostly be from fat, and not from your muscle mass.
Numerous studies have shown that cardio exercise has a very positive effect on blood pressure. If your blood pressure is healthy, it works as a preventative measure so that you will not develop high blood pressure in the future.
However, if you have high blood pressure, or hypertension, it helps to heal the disease to restore health. Thus, whether you are healthy or sick, cardiovascular exercise can help!
HDL is the good cholesterol in your body while LDL is the bad cholesterol. It has been shown that exercise increases HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL cholesterol.
Cardio exercise has its greatest effect on cholesterol during exercise bouts of long duration. A study conducted at Duke University showed that the more intense the exercise, the better the effectiveness was in regards to lowering LDL cholesterol.
When performing cardio exercise, attempt to exercise for at least 20-30 minutes each time.
Cardio exercises not only has many physical benefits, but it also greatly helps in our ability to focus by decreasing mental fatigue.
In a study performed at the University of Georgia, sedentary people who began an exercise regimen consisting of low intensity exercise showed increased energy levels of 20% and a decrease in fatigue by up to 65%!
Well there you have it! On top of all these benefits, cardiovascular exercise releases endorphins which makes us feel good, and who doesn?t like to feel good?
And cardio is more than just running. Anything that causes you to move and break a sweat is cardiovascular exercise. Examples include, swimming, walking, jumping, ice skating, soccer, tennis, dancing, bicycling, elliptical, racquetball, and boxing.
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About Danny Maman My name is Danny Maman. I have a real passion for health and fitness and enjoy having a life that revolves around this. I have my bachelor's degree in exercise science with a minor in allied health. I am also a certified personal trainer with ACE and am a former college basketball player.