Last Updated on May 30, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
Cardio workouts, aka aerobics, do more than just help you burn fat. In fact, doing activity that increases your heart rate does an incredible amount of good for the body. It’s more than just stepping on a scale and not cringing from the results. It’s about keeping yourself alive longer and happier.
Why You Need Cardio Workouts to Live
According to the CDC, approximately 36.5% of the population in the United States over the age of 20 is considered obese. Depending on where you live, this statistic is fairly obvious. While these numbers are starting to decline, it’s still an incredible statistic.
This means that one in every three people you see at the grocery store is a candidate for diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
Fortunately, there is a way to combat this problem…and it doesn’t cost a single penny to get started. A quick way to start improving your life today is through cardio workouts.
But, there is more to exercise than just preventing obesity. It’s a way to vastly improve other areas of your existence as well. Below are only five of them that are the most prevalent.
1. Resistance to Injury and Illness
A healthy body is less likely to be injured or suffer from illnesses. Case in point, it’s common knowledge that cardio helps keep the heart healthy. However, it does far more than just help prevent heart attacks.
Cardio workouts strengthen and define the muscles in your body. As a result, everything that literally keeps you together is improved. Muscles, tendons and bones are all affected as the density and development of the muscle mass keeps everything where it’s supposed to be.
According to StretchCoach, an imbalance in the muscles is one of the most common causes for injuries in things like sports. In a way, it’s a lack of control that leads many to hurt themselves. Although this is more focused on strength training rather than cardio, the effects are still the same. It’s all about building definition and density, of which cardio workouts will contribute.
As you improve the overall health of your body through cardio workouts, the ability to resist viral and bacterial infections is also enhanced. This means less time spent lying on the couch sick and more time having fun or working.
2. Elevates Your Mood
Many have heard the term, “Runner’s High.” This is derived from the euphoric feeling extensive exercise delivers thanks to endorphins. Committing to a regular routine of cardio workouts elevates your mood. In fact, research shows how regular exercise helps those who suffer from long-term depression.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll be cured of all your mood swings from the first workout you jump into. However, prolonged activity over the course of months and even weeks will greatly affect your state of mind for the better.
Some studies show how the influx of oxygen to the brain is part of the process for improving mood. As the heart elevates its beats per minute, the brain begins receiving the very thing it needs to function properly: oxygen.
This impact of exercise on the mind is one of the reasons why therapists often suggest physical activity as part of treatments. It’s used in everything from depression to alcohol addiction recovery.
3. Increases Your Thinking Skills
Oxygen to the brain doesn’t just boost your mood, though. It will also help in development and maintenance of this magnificent organ. For instance, studies show how physically active children had better developed brains than those who were not.
What does this mean? It means that regular cardio exercise helps you think better. A brain in optimal condition is better apt to process information, store and recall memories and perform various cognitive tasks with better performance.
Now, this isn’t saying that regular cardio workouts will give you the chops to face off against Steven Hawking. However, it will vastly improve cognitive skills. The end result is the ability to improve performance at work as well as in your personal life. And yes…this includes eSports and gaming.
If you want to further enhance the brain’s ability to process information, mix in healthy eating on top of exercise. In reality, things like blueberries boost memory capabilities as well as decrease the risks of Alzheimer’s disease and other mental illnesses.
4. Strengthens the Cardiovascular System
Exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system in several ways. It’s more than just merely protecting yourself from heart disease. I’m talking about how the body uses blood to supply organs and muscles with nutrients you need to survive.
Vein health is an important facet of human existence. The cell walls need to be strong and capable of supporting the blood that travels through this grand structure of tubes.
Take a regular high school for example. Let’s say the halls of this school are the veins and students are the blood cells. Now, students are more capable of traveling to their classrooms without debris clogging the halls. Cardio workouts help keep those “hallways” clean within you. This, and a proper diet.
And what about supplying nutrients to the other organs within your body? Yes, increased physical activity also works to improve organ health as they get the components they need much easier. Don’t forget that you still need to consume a healthy diet. No sense in sending a fast delivery truck if the cargo is empty.
5. Enhances Endurance for Everyday Activities
Perhaps the most important reason to add cardio workouts to your regular routine is to enhance your daily activity. This includes everything from vacuuming your living room to going to work. Even washing the dishes is affected by a more active lifestyle.
First, lets talk about muscle development. Cardio workouts help define muscles that are being used. While you may not gain a great deal of strength, you will see a difference in your capacity to move objects. You probably won’t be able to throw a couch out of your way when vacuuming, but you will notice a profound difference.
Secondly, cardio workouts enhance endurance. For instance, you’d find yourself capable of cleaning more of the house continuously with fewer breaks. It will also improve yard work, the tasks you perform at your job and improve sex life. For many, that’s reason enough to jump on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day.
You don’t have to turn yourself into a star athlete to benefit from a good exercise routine. Virtually any situation in your life can benefit from improving your cardio activity.
It’s Not About Being Buff…
You don’t have to be considered “buff” to be healthy. Muscle tone is only part of keeping your body efficient and strong. Don’t forget, your internal organs rely on overall health as well. Not everyone wants to die a slow and eventually painful death. Do your part to keep your body healthy and defined with cardio workouts.