By Tonny Wandella
Cardio! Is it your pain or your passion? It doesn’t matter how you define it; the reality is that cardio exercise is an important component in every fitness plan. The health benefits of cardiovascular exercises are endless. The good news is that you do not need expensive workout equipment or a health club membership to get a good cardio workout since simple activities such as running up the stairs or going for long brisk walks are effective and won’t cost you a dime. Below are some of the advantages of cardio workouts:
- It Boosts Respiratory Health
If you are just starting, doing cardio may leave you out of breath. This can be uncomfortable because no one likes to feel as if their lungs are burning, but it is beneficial in the long run. When exercising, your body tissues use oxygen faster than when you are sitting. As a result, your lungs have to work harder to meet the demand for oxygen in your body, which enables them to be more efficient. The lungs will not become bigger, but they will be more effective in drawing oxygen from the air that you breathe in and eliminating carbon dioxide from the body as you breathe out.
After a short while, you will notice that you will not be running out of breath like you previously did. You will also notice that enduring strenuous exercises and activities such as playing with your kids, lifting heavy objects, or running up the stairs will be progressively less difficult.
- It Helps In Weight Loss
This is one of the major reasons why people engage in aerobic exercises. This doesn’t come as a surprise since having regular cardio sessions can help a person in burning fat and shedding off extra pounds. When doing cardio, your body accesses fat stores and burns it up to produce enough energy to power your muscles, therefore resulting in weight loss.
If you want to burn more fat through cardio, you should go for intense aerobics that can challenge your lungs and heart and push you to your limits. Keep in mind that having a very high heart rate indicates that you are pushing your body too hard, and you should relax a little and give your body time to recover.
- It Boosts Your Mood
Are you constantly stressed out by your work? Perhaps something unexpected happened, and now you are feeling down? Cardiovascular exercises can help lift your mood. This is because during a workout your brain experiences better neural growth and less inflammation, thus developing activity patterns that promote calmness. Your body also releases feel-good hormones such as endorphins and serotonin, which can regulate your mood. This explains why you develop a positive mindset and feel more relaxed and calmer after a workout session. Besides, if you decide to exercise outdoors, you will expose yourself to fresh air and a change of scenery, which can help you forget your stress. If your friends join you during aerobics, your mood will not only be lifted because of the release of the feel-good hormones but also because you will be enjoying and having fun with others.
- It Improves Your Sleeping Pattern
Regular exercise can help if you are suffering from chronic insomnia. Exercise can reduce the time you take to fall asleep and increase the length of your sleep. If you are not suffering from insomnia, cardio can help you fall asleep much faster and reduce daytime sleepiness. It can also prevent leg cramps when you are asleep – a problem that keeps a lot of people awake at night.
If you are using this method to improve your sleeping patterns, it is recommended to schedule the aerobics in the morning as some studies show that exercising in the evening or the afternoon can make it challenging for some individuals to fall asleep. If you must work out in the evening, go for moderate-intensity cardio exercises rather than the high-intensity ones.