You probably already know the importance of nutrition, strength training, and cardio on weight loss. Cardio, for its part, helps you burn fat and increase your stamina, melting extra pounds off your body.
Cardiovascular exercise also has some other amazing benefits for your body. It’s an amazing workout for your heart muscle and helps you fend off disease.
Next time you need some extra motivation to get your run or bike ride in, consider all the other amazing ways you can improve your health by getting your heart rate up regularly!
If you want to make improvements to your health, you can capitalize on the way cardio:
Primes your heart
Perhaps one of the most notable advantages of aerobic exercise for your health is its cardioprotective benefits. Cardio lowers your biggest risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Activities that raise you heart rate also increase your blood circulation, pumping extra oxygen throughout your system. As your heart gets stronger, other systems in your body benefit too.
Mends your mood
Studies show exercise is as effective as antidepressants at enhancing mood for people with mild depression. If you’ve ever felt your spirits lift after a run or walk, you’ve experienced this effect firsthand.
You don’t have to do strenuous cardio to benefit either. A brisk 30 minute walk outside can significantly improve your mood. Think about all the endorphins released into your system, the exposure to mood-enhancing sunlight, and the mood-enhancing benefits you get from being in nature.
Moderates your sugars
Cardio exercise helps lower your blood sugar levels. Your body is also more receptive to insulin after a workout, which further keeps your blood sugars in check.
Because cardio improves your body’s response to glucose, it also reduces your risk of developing metabolic disease and type 2 diabetes. If you’re at risk for diabetes, a healthy lifestyle upgrade, including cardio, should pull back on that risk or even reverse it.
Curbs your cancer risk
Did you know cardio is a cancer fighter? Cardio significantly lowers your risk of several cancers, most notably breast, uterine, endometrial, lung, and colon cancers.
Researchers think this effect has to do with the way cardio helps balance your hormones, reduce inflammation, promote digestion, and increase immune function. Cardio also helps fight obesity, a key cancer risk factor. If fending off cancer isn’t a good reason to sweat, what is?
Strengthens your slumber
Attention insomniacs! Cardio helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. Your body uses that time to repair itself from the work you put it through, which finally helps you melt into that sweet sleep you’ve been longing for.
Next time you go for a run or take a kickboxing class, pay attention to how well you sleep afterward. It’s almost like all your pent up nervous energy drips away with your sweat and gives your body a necessary reason to sleep.
Even though the number of benefits of cardio don’t stop here, we hope these five compelling advantages make you more excited to get your cardio on today and hereafter. Remind yourself next time you hit the gym about all the amazing favors you’re doing for your body. Then, get sweaty!