Cardio fitness is the ability to work up a sweat and maintain an elevated heart rate through sustained physical activity. Almost anyone can benefit from cardiovascular exercise, or cardio, and most people will see results after only eight to 12 weeks of regular sessions. The main benefits of cardio are stronger, healthier muscles, improved lung function, lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels and greater stamina. Cardio is one of the most important components to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it’s also one of the most under-utilized activities by many people.
When most people think of cardio, they envision jogging or running. However, there are many different ways to weave cardio into a workout routine without having to spend hours on the treadmill. In fact, even a long walk is considered cardio and can provide all of the health benefits listed in this article.
Whether you’re new to exercising or an experienced runner, the most important thing is to find something that you enjoy and will stick with over time. The Internet is flooded with ideas of what type of exercise to do, but ultimately, the best form of cardio is the one that you’ll actually enjoy doing and will commit to consistently.
Once you’ve found an activity that fits your personality and schedule, start by slowly working up to a moderate intensity. Ideally, you want to be able to talk while you’re exercising but not gasp for air. You can monitor your heart rate throughout the session with your iPhone’s Health app and should be sure to spend 5-10 minutes warming up and stretching at the beginning of each session.
In addition to improving the health of your heart, lungs and overall circulation, cardio exercises can reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and promote weight loss. It can even boost your immune system, helping you to avoid illness and infection. In fact, studies have shown that regularly performing cardio can increase your body’s supply of neutrophils, which are white blood cells that help to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
Cardio is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, it’s also one of the most under-utilized forms of exercise by many people. Whether you’re young, old, male or female, a sexy athlete or just a couch potato, everyone can reap the many health benefits of cardio. But it’s not just your physical body that can benefit; studies have found that cardio can slow the deterioration of specific brain tissues and even improve memory. So if you’re ready to give your heart, lungs and whole body a healthy boost, start incorporating more cardio into your daily life today..