Has it ever happened that you ditched the elevator for a flight of stairs, and then you just couldn’t catch your breath, and it seems like your heart is going to jump out of your chest?
If you can relate to this scenario, then you aren’t as fit as you might think, even if you are not overweight.
If you think that being your ideal weight means that you are also fit, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Fitness stands for having muscular and cardiorespiratory endurance, which means you can go through strenuous physical activity or even a simple physical task such as climbing a flight of stairs without running out of breath.
Hence, you need to do exercise, regardless of your weight. While there are many types of activities that you can adopt to keep yourself fit, we are here to tell you specifically about the benefits of doing cardio.
People often get confused about what considers as cardio and what doesn’t. Cardio exercises are also known as aerobic exercise. Anything that raises your heart rate and gets oxygen flowing is counted as cardio exercise, such as running, cycling, and swimming.
Or if you are doing it in the gym, then running on a treadmill or elliptical training would come under cardio’s umbrella. Weight training and weight lifting are not cardio and is used to build strength.
Now that you have a better understanding of what constitutes as cardio, let us convince you or instead motivate you about why you need cardio in your daily routine:
1. It improves your heart health
Like other muscles of your body get strengthened with exercise, your heart muscles also get stronger with it. Cardio workout makes it more efficient and allows it to pump blood throughout the body in a better way. By better, we mean that your heart starts pumping more blood in one beat, without beating faster. This keeps your blood pressure under control.
When you are exercising, you need to be mindful of how much pressure you put on yourself. It’s easy to check with talk/sing. If you can sing while exercising, you need to work harder. If you can barely talk while working, you need to slow down. There are many great gyms that not only offer the right equipment but trainers who can guide you in a better way.
2. Strengthens your immune system
Exercise is the best way to train your immune system to fight with any foreign particles that affect your body. Especially during this pandemic, when the risk of falling sick has increased exponentially, you need to be well prepared.
According to a study published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science, there is a clear correlation between exercise and improved defense system and metabolic health.
The study focused on moderate to vigorous exercise lasting for an hour. The researchers found out that since exercising increases blood flow rate, it also increases the circulation of the immune, so you get a faster response and tend to fall sick less frequently.
However, you need to maintain your immune system by exercising regularly; when you stop working out, immune cells decrease.
3. Improves your mental health
Exercise doesn’t only have benefits for your physical health; it can do wonders for your mental health as well. It is beneficial for people who are suffering from depression.
A study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes or walking for an hour reduces the risk of depression by 26%. Name it the most awesome part! There are no side effects.
Not just depression, working out also helps calm down your anxiety give you relief from stress. If you have noticed that your muscles are tensed whenever you are stressed, you start getting headaches and cramps. In severe cases, this leads to insomnia, heartache, and even diarrhea. However, when you work out, your body releases endorphins or happy hormones as they are often termed as.
4. Helps you sleep peacefully
There is no doubt that exercising also helps you sleep better. You might be thinking that it is evident because you get tired after strenuous activity, but that is not the only reason behind your sound sleep. There are various factors that contribute to having a good sleep. So people with insomnia can take help of exercise to get a peaceful dose of la-la land.
Exercise increases your core body temperature, and when your body starts cooling down, it mimics a similar situation, which happens when you are about to go to sleep. Moreover, exercising realigns your internal body clock as it improves the production of serotonin. Consequently, your brain gets efficient at metabolizing the hormone and regulating sleep.
However, the benefit you get depends on the time of the day you exercise because exercising also releases endorphins, which keeps people awake. So, it is a better idea to exercise 1 to 2 hours before you hit the bed. Also, remember to follow all the safety tips for workouts before you start working out if you want to get real benefit.
5. Helps you lose weight
The very obvious nonetheless an important benefit of exercising is that it helps you maintain your weight. If you are overweight, there is nothing better than doing cardio exercises for at least half an hour every day.
Being overweight comes with a host of issues. You are at a greater risk of developing diabetes and blood pressure issues. To avoid these, you need to ensure that you engage in physical activity. You can choose any activity you like. If you are fond of dancing or tennis, you can engage in these.
It is about a healthy lifestyle
These are just some of the benefits that come with doing cardio exercises. All it takes is just an hour of your day, and you can maintain your health. And remember, it is not just about being overweight. You don’t exercise to lose weight only. You do it to be fit and build endurance. It is all about adopting a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercising as well as a good diet.
Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion, she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her on Twitter: @ashrosa2.