Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise
What is cardio? It takes many forms, but in general, cardiovascular exercise is any repetitive activity that involves the major muscle groups of the body, increases heart rate and increases respiration. Some common examples are running, swimming, tennis, and work on an elliptical machine. For best results, cardio should be performed for at least 30 minutes, five time per week.
Benefits of Cardio to Body Systems:
Brain: Increased blood flow reduces chances of stroke, improves memory and cognition, decreases age-related decline and may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Skin: Increased circulation means cleaner, healthier skin
Blood: Helps control blood sugar (and thus fight Diabetes), improves HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Muscles: Increased oxygen supply allows muscles to work harder and more efficiently, thus making regular activities easier to perform, and delays onset of muscle fatigue.
Lungs: Improved function leads to increased blood oxygenation and helps reduce fatigue and shortness of breath in those with chronic lung problems.
Weight: Helps control weight by burning more calories during exercise, and tunes body to burn more calories between exercise sessions.
Sexual Function: Decreases erective dysfunction in men and improves libido for women.
Bones and Joints: Increases bone density (thus fighting osteoporosis), and helps manage joint pain and increases range of motion in those with arthritis.
Mood and Affect: Boosts mood, combats depression and improves self-esteem. Reduces stress by releasing tension-fighting hormones like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Improves ability to fall asleep faster and increases REM sleep. Improves overall energy throughout the day.