When it comes to cardio exercise, the emotions of people are twofold. While some see it as a great passion, the others see it as something dreadful and too difficult. Whichever group you belong the truth is the same – cardio is definitely not something you want to skip in your exercise routine, and in this article you will find out why.
What is cardio exercise?
Cardio or cardiovascular exercise is any physical activity that increases your heart rate and makes the blood run faster. This includes jogging, cycling, using a jump rope or an elliptical trainer, to name a few.
When you do cardio, it is important to achieve target heart rate for the best results. It is between 50 and 85% of your maximum heart rate. You can calculate it by using this formula: 220 – [your age]. For example, if you are 25 years old, your maximum heart rate will be 195. When you do cardio properly and monitor your heart rate, you reduce the risk and increase all the benefits this exercise has for your body.
Stronger heart and lungs
First of all, cardiovascular exercise makes your heart stronger, since it exercises together with you. This protects you from various heart diseases. What’s more, moderate and supervised cardio activity can help patients recover after suffering some heart conditions.
Your lungs also expand and intake more oxygen when you do cardio. This increases their capacity and makes them stronger as well.
Scientific studies have shown that people who do cardio exercises 3 to 4 times a week fall asleep easier and sleep sounder. As a result, you will avoid the anxiety related with insomnia, you will wake up more rested and feel more energetic on daily basis.
Improved brain function
Cardio exercise affects another vital organ of your body – your brain. According to one study, aerobic exercise increases the size of hippocampus. This is the area of the brain related to verbal memory and learning. This means that cardio exercise can help you stay concentrated and learn better and more effectively.
Increased bone density
Osteoporosis is a loss of bone density that usually occurs at later age. Numerous factors can cause it, but it threatens women after menopause mostly. The studies have shown that people who do cardio exercises 3-4 times a week have lower risk of developing osteoporosis.
Helps beat depression
Cardio exercises are a natural source of endorphins, or the “happiness hormones”. This means that following a cardio program can help in depression treatment alongside with medication. In some cases, exercise can replace the medication completely. Even if you do not suffer from depression, but you only feel a bit blue, a good exercise will help you feel better and make your day.
Last but not least, cardio exercise helps you burn fat. Fat loss depends on the number of calories you burn, and there is nothing like cardio exercise to help you urn those calories and get rid of the excess fat. This means that you will look better, which results in feeling more self-confident.