Cardio exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate. Although commonly used for the purpose of weight loss, cardio work outs has many other health benefits.
We are meant to move our bodies, the more we move the stronger we get. Cardio strengthens the heart and lungs. As you breathe faster and more deeply the amount of oxygen in your blood maximizes. As your heart beats faster it increases blood flow to your muscles and back to your lungs. Your small blood vessels (capillaries) will widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles and carry away waste products, such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
Cardiovascular exercise reduces mood swings and depression and gives you a sense of well-being by boosting your brain with feel good endorphins. Mental focus is also improved.
Skin quality is enhanced with cardio exercise because the skin is cleansed from the inside out, stress is reduced and circulation is improved.
Increased energy levels are a benefit of cardio exercise. Energy begets energy- when you expend energy you get it back, a kind of return on your investment.
Cardio exercises which are weight bearing such as running, aerobics, dancing, tennis, stair climbing, and high resistance cycling are excellent ways to increase bone density as well.
Cardio work outs can be lots of fun! Cardio exercise allows you to choose to move your body in a way that gives you joy. You can even make cardio a family bonding event by going rollerblading or bicycling.
Be grateful for the ability to physically move and be sure to make cardio exercise a part of your fitness regimen.