Ugh …. dreaded cardio! Not exactly a crowd pleaser. Despite its bad reputation regular cardio has a ton of health benefits – both physical and mental.
Cardio is defined as any type of movement that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat and breathe harder. You use your large muscle groups, you breathe deeper and more quickly, and your heart will beat more rapidly as it moves blood throughout your body. Sounds fun right?! Despite its bad reputation, regular cardio has a ton of health benefits.
Heart Health - Exercise is excellent for heart health and preventing heart disease. When you exercise, you strengthen your heart which helps lower your blood pressure. When your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to draw oxygen from the blood this also reduces the risk of a heart attack.
Weight Control - Cardio is a calorie torcher if you are looking for weight loss. If you have already reduced your body fat and want to keep it off, regular cardio will help you maintain your weight.
Increases Stamina & Strength - Regular cardio exercise can help improve lung capacity. Over time, your conditioning and endurance will increase.
Lowers Stress Levels – All types of exercise release a chemical in your brain called endorphins, which helps improve your mood. Cardio is a great way to reduce your stress levels.
Better Sleep - Cardio also helps you sleep better. Better sleep has been shown to help with cognitive function, depression and anxiety, weight loss, and stress. Exercise stimulates your mind and can make it hard to sleep right after, so find times that work best for you.
Reduces Joint Pain and Stiffness from Arthritis - People with arthritis can also suffer from weak muscles, decreased pain tolerance, and stiff joints – all of which can be helped by regular movement.
All workouts should always start with a proper warm up to get the blood pumping and your muscles loose. Work at your own pace, slowly increasing your intensity and duration. After each workout be sure to cool down and stretch allowing your heart rate and muscles to return to normal.
The bottom line is that a workout routine (I highly recommend the Bungee Workout at Swoop!) that helps increase your heart rate is beneficial for your overall health and well-being.