What’s up everybody! Welcome Back! Today we put together a quick reference guide for Black Sheep of all ages to get an overall good idea of WHY cardio is necessary for us all. Lets get started….Cardiovascular exercise includes movements that raise heart and respiratory rate and increases blood flow and oxygen throughout the body. This type of exercise is one of the most effective and the best ways to achieve great health. Cardio exercise uses a variety of muscles in the body while increasing cardiovascular fitness, so it’s good for your body in a number of different ways. Following are some of the key benefits of cardiovascular exercise:
Improved Heart Health
This is one of the top benefits of cardiovascular exercise. About 30-60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily can decrease the protein that contributes to blood clots, lower stress and anxiety, boost HDL (good cholesterol), reduce blood sugar, and control blood pressure. By the American College of Sports Medicine standard, it is recommended that each person does 3x days a week of moderate intensity exercise and 2x days a week of high intensity.
Stronger Immune System
Cardio exercise strengthens immune system, helping to lower your body’s risk of bacterial infection. The exercise also increases the release of white blood cells and antibodies, both of which boost your immune system’s ability to fight infections and diseases in general.
Improved Brain Health
Cardio exercise helps improve thinking and memory skills. Studies have found that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex) have greater volume in individuals who exercise as compared to individuals who don’t. The exercise also slows down brain size shrinkage in elderly people, improving their cognitive ability. Last but not least, it can also help you have a good night’s rest, which is crucial for good overall mental health.
Cardiovascular exercise, e.g. jogging, walking, swimming, running, etc. burns calories. If you are trying to lose weight, such exercise can really help you. Moderate to high intensity cardiovascular workouts can burn a lot of calories with each session. Cardio workouts that are the most effective for reducing weight include walking, rowing, cycling, jumping rope, and running stairs dependent on the goal of course because there are differences when it comes to weight loss vs fat loss. More to come in the future on this topic.
Cardiovascular exercise can also improve your metabolism. Whether you are using a stationary bike, running, swimming, or jogging – all kinds of cardio exercise boost your metabolism. Cardio increases the hormone production/efficiency. This is a very beneficial for your metabolism. When you perform cardiovascular work, your metabolic rate increases. As a result, you burn more calories as well as lose appetite.
Mood and Energy Boost
Cardiovascular exercise can sharpen your mental focus and memory, give you more energy and stamina, reduce stress, and elevate your mood. Such exercise increases endorphins(neurochemicals that create a feeling of euphoria). It also increases the release of mood-boosting hormones, e.g. dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Having an improved mood can make you feel more energized and ready to take on the rest of your day.
If you are not used to cardio exercise, then it is highly recommended that you start slowly. Start by only performing a bit of cardiovascular exercise every day and gradually increase its intensity and amount. Before getting started, it would also be a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure that you are exercising in a way that is safe for you.
In summary, cardiovascular work is a great way to not only keep you physically healthy, but psychologically healthy as well. Whether you join a team sport, play with your kids, or train on your own, you are contributing to your overall health and deterring much issues. Till next time–The Black Sheep