Love it or hate it, cardio is the key to good health. I usually dread cardio, but I am oh so glad when it is over. My flavor of the month right now is spinning and running. I love to run through the neighborhood, but hate running on the treadmill, so running might have to take a hiatus for the next month or so, until it cools off a bit. Even at 5:00 AM it seems to be hitting 90 degrees lately.
The term cardio covers a wide range of activities that include the use of major muscle groups in the body working in a continuous manner. But most importantly, the heart muscle is the one to benefit the most from cardiovascular exercises. There are various physical activities that can be considered cardio training, such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, rowing, cycling, as well as taking classes like Zumba, cardio kick boxing, or even something as novel as pole dancing.
The nice thing about cardio is that even a little bit goes a long way to lead you to good health.
1. It boosts energy levels. Regular cardio exercise can help in improving a person’s energy levels. When the body goes through regular cardio training, it slowly adapts and is more able to cope with the added strenuous physical activity. People become less tired while doing more work. In the process, they can become more energetic. Physical endurance isn’t just important for exercising. Think about playing with the kids (we just got an X-Box Kinect, and I need all the energy I can get), power shopping during the holidays, sightseeing on vacation. The more energy the more fun you will have in your every day activities.
2. It helps improve weight control and metabolism. Regular cardio exercises can help maintain your desired weight level. When we do cardio, our bodies require more energy and our metabolism speeds up to supply it. With an improved metabolism, the body can burn more calories more efficiently. Regular cardio training can also help build up muscles, and muscle burns calories, while fat does not. This means that the more muscular you are, the higher your metabolism will remain at all times.
3. It helps prevent disease. Regular cardio training can help in the prevention of heart disease. The heart also has muscles that make it work more effectively. Strengthening them makes the heart grow stronger and delay or prevent the development of diseases associated with the heart. Most cardio strengthens the lungs as well. Conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease can be prevented with regular cardio exercise and training.
So even if you hate doing cardio, your heart and your health love it.