Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is one of the most common forms of exercise and is defined as any type of activity that increases your heart rate. How well you use oxygen is called your aerobic capacity. When your aerobic capacity is high, your heart, lungs and blood vessels efficiently deliver large amounts of oxygen throughout your body. As a result, you feel more energised and don’t tire as quickly.
If you haven’t gotten enough cardio, you may use your entire aerobic capacity while walking up a flight of stairs. You’ll realise this when you get to the top and feel out of breath… But if you’re fit, you’ll have no problem because your aerobic capacity is greater. That’s just one example of how you can benefit from cardio exercise.
Adding cardio to your routine is one of the most effective ways to enhance fat burning. Studies have found that aerobic exercise can increase muscle mass and decrease belly fat, waist circumference and body fat (38, 39, 40). Most research recommends between 150–300 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise weekly, or roughly 30–40 minutes of cardio each day (41). Circuits, running, walking, cycling and swimming are just a few examples of some cardio exercises that can help burn fat and kick-start weight loss. Studies show that the more aerobic exercise people get, the more belly fat they tend to lose. Cardio will also help reduce waist circumference, lower body fat and increase muscle mass.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior, elite athlete, age grouper, hobby cyclists or exercise in any form can contribute to a longer life. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found cardiorespiratory fitness increases long-term mortality. This study looked at the data from over 120,000 patients (average age of 53) between the year 1994 and 2014. The outcome indicated cardiovascular fitness is correlated to longer living. Extremely high aerobic fitness was associated with the greatest survival and elite athletes were the most likely to live longer. Engaging in high levels of aerobic exercise is also beneficial to older adults and those with hypertension. This study concluded, cardiorespiratory fitness is increasing life spans and health care professionals should encourage patients to achieve and maintain high levels of fitness.
Boost your mood through the release of endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals released by your brain. It’s not easy- but when you’ve finished, you’ll feel great! The endorphins will kick in and you’ll be ready to tackle anything the world throws at you! Remember- You’re only one workout away from a good mood!
- Faster Recovery time enabling you to handle harder sessions
- Help control your appetite
- Help you sleep better at night.
- Reduce arthritis pain and stiffness through joint movement.
- Help prevent or manage high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Improving cardiovascular fitness can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by increasing the efficiency of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
- The easier it is to pump blood through your body, the less taxing it is on your heart and the more energy you have.
No matter what your age, aerobic exercise will help you in your daily activities and increase your stamina and endurance.
Top Coach Tips- Start Slowly
If you’re a beginner, start slowly. You might walk five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening. Gradually add a few minutes to each session and then pick up the pace a bit. Soon you could be walking briskly for 30 minutes a day. Also consider hiking, cycling, jogging, rowing, boxing, circuit training — any activity that increases your heart rate, breathing and feels like you’re working.
Practice these fitness fundamentals to help lower your health risks and improve your quality of life.