It’s time for some cardio, so get ready to sweat! Cardio is short for cardiovascular and is used to reference aerobic exercise which works the cardiovascular system. When you do cardio, your heart rate increases and your breathing becomes deeper as you work your lungs and other large muscles in your body. Making cardio part of your regular routine is incredibly beneficial.
Burn Calories: Everyone knows that cardio burns calories. Stored fat becomes energy for your body once your blood glucose is all used up. It’s a great way to not only lose weight, but to increase your metabolism so that it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Heart Health: Cardio activity is great for keeping your muscles in good working order — especially the very important heart muscle. If you’re getting winded walking up a few flights of stairs or doing a short run to catch up with your friends, it’s time to step up the cardio! A strong and fit heart has to work less to efficiently pump blood and oxygen through your system and cardio is a great way to keep your heart in good condition.
Disease Prevention: According to the CDC, it’s recommended that adults get at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Cardio helps prevent ailments such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and can help those with diabetes maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Attitude: You know it! A great cardio routine can contribute to your happiness. When your body is fit and working well, you feel better, look better, sleep better and all of those things can help you have a more positive outlook on life. Plus, exercise releases endorphins, which can also contribute to a better mood.
You don’t need an expensive gym membership to get into a cardio routine. Just get outside and walk your way to better health. You could also find other cardio activities that you may enjoy such as swimming, bicycling, dancing, or learning a sport such as basketball or tennis. The important thing is to just get a move on!
Remember, you know your body best! If you have chronic pain, injuries, or other health concerns, please consult with your physician or a certified instructor before attempting any new or more intense workouts.