Why Cardio is Important
Cardio exercise and strength training play a vital role in how effective our workout routines are. The primary goal of strength training is to challenge your muscles, while the primary goal of a cardio workout is to challenge your heart. (Your heart is technically a muscle, but you know what we mean.) Most professionals recommend that you complete about 150 minutes or more of cardiovascular activity per week. But, why is cardio even important? Let’s take a look at some of the most significant benefits of cardiovascular exercise.
Mental health should be one of your top priorities for overall health and wellness. With about 6.7% of adults in America suffering from an episode of depression every single year, it is essential to try and fight those, and other mental health statistics, by any means possible. One of the main benefits of cardio exercise is that it is a mood enhancer.
Though you may feel a little ho-hum about lacing up those sneakers and getting out of the door, after a few minutes, your body will be producing endorphins that may improve your mood overall. One study showed that participants who walked 20-40 minutes three times per week for six weeks showed signs of alleviated symptoms of depression compared to the control group. So, even if you don’t want to sprint, or climb up the stair climber quite yet, you could get benefits just from exploring your neighborhood a few times a week.
Enhances Oxygen Flow Throughout The Body
The cardiovascular system within your body is responsible for delivering nutrients and oxygen to every single cell that makes you, you. By making your heart—the center of that entire system—stronger, it will help you to reduce the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, and prevent several other common ailments. As a benefit, you might find that the walk from your parking space to the desk in your office, or up the stairs gets easier and easier as you work on cardiovascular health.
Speeds Up Weight Loss
While there are several other benefits to look forward to when changing your health for the better, weight loss is probably the most desired benefit. Weight loss is possible when you create a caloric deficit.
Generally, if the average individual cuts about 500 calories a day from their typical diet, that would result in about a 1 pound weight loss per week—though it is much more complicated than that! You can also burn those calories by completing cardiovascular and strength exercises (you read that right—strength helps too and has several other benefits). A mixture of diet change, cardiovascular exercise, and strength training is the healthiest way to lose weight. But let’s get back to the point!
Cardio is great for fat burning because it allows you to burn more calories per hour than any other workout. The average person burns about 150 calories when walking for just 30 minutes! Strength training requires a few days of rest in between training a specific muscle group. Contrastly, you can do some form of cardio activity every single day (walking, for instance) without really having to worry too much about getting injured.
Lowers your resting heart rate
Though a normal resting heart rate is different for everyone, your heart rate can tell you a ton about your overall health. Most elite athletes have incredibly low resting heart rates (40-60 BPM). The benefit to this is that their hearts can carry the same amount of blood through their bodies with fewer beats per minute. Therefore, their body uses less energy which causes less stress on the body overall.
To decrease your heart rate effectively, you should implement cardio workouts into your gym routine. Those workouts can be anything from a low impact cardio workout like swimming, cycling, or rowing, to walking, running, or using the elliptical. As your heart gets stronger, it will be able to move blood and oxygen through your body much more efficiently, which in turn allows for a lower resting heart rate.
The importance of cardiovascular exercise stretches far beyond having the perfect beach body. From a well-rounded gym routine that will benefit every part of your life from walking up the stairs, to how good your mood is at work tomorrow, it is necessary to take care of your cardiovascular health.
If you are interested in learning more about cardiovascular exercise or want to add it to your gym routine—head into any of our Chuze Fitness locations! Every Chuze Fitness has over 80+ pieces of cardio equipment to choose from and a ton more to offer!