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This Month In Body
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  • Get Your Blood Pumping
    Dread the idea of cardiovascular exercise? You may think you’re doing fine without it, but you’re wrong. Skip cardio, and your body misses out on valuable health benefits. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Get Your Blood Pumping

Seven reasons you need to add cardio to your workout routine.

Dread the idea of cardiovascular exercise? You may think you’re doing fine without it, but you’re wrong. Skip cardio, and your body misses out on valuable health benefits. Benefits that only happen when your muscles are working and your blood is pumping through cardio activities.

Also known as aerobic exercise, cardio movements are those done “with oxygen.” As you move your large muscles, your heart rate speeds up and your breathing becomes faster and deeper. When this happens, oxygen-rich blood is carried throughout the body. The result: your body is better able to do its jobs. All of them.

So why do cardio? Keep reading to find out.

Improved Heart Health

To keep your heart and entire cardiovascular system healthy, your heart needs exercise. Exercise requires the heart to work harder than usual, making it stronger and more efficient. Cardio workouts are particularly powerful tools for your heart. Whether you’re at risk for heart disease or not, cardio can keep your ticker in tip-top shape.

Aided Weight Loss

Want to lose a few pounds? Who doesn’t? But weight loss doesn’t happen by accident. In order to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. This means you burn more calories than you consume. Cardio has great potential for calorie burn. Paired with a healthy diet, cardio is a solid way to move forward in your weight-loss endeavors.

Boosted Mood

Studies show regular aerobic exercise may be as effective as medication for managing depression symptoms. It does this in several ways. Exercise triggers the brain to release endorphins. These natural brain chemicals boost your mood and make you feel better emotionally. It increases production of serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate your mood and sleep. And adopting an active lifestyle gives you something to look forward to, work towards, and feel proud of. Put these perks together and you’ve got an improved mood.

Enhanced Cognitive Function

Your brain needs blood. It needs nutrients. It needs oxygen. Cardio provides it all. This increase in blood flow improves cognitive function. It also reduces your risk of stroke, aids memory, and helps prevent age-related dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Increased Energy

Exercise increases the oxygen in your blood and improves how your body uses oxygen. As it does this, it causes you to feel energized. You’re able to perform everyday activities with less effort. You no longer feel out of breath when you reach the top of the stairs. Cardio gets you in shape, increases your lung capacity, and boosts your energy levels.

Improved Sleep

Struggling to sleep at night? Improved sleep is another reason cardio exercise does you good. The night after a good workout, you’ll likely fall asleep faster and get more REM restorative sleep. For best results, end your workout at least two hours before bed.

Strengthened Immune System

Need another reason to do cardio? These days, there’s plenty of talk about strengthening your immune system to fight off infections. Regular cardio exercise is one way to do just that. Exercise leads to an increase in white blood cells and antibodies that fight illness. Because exercise raises your body temperature, it may aid the body’s ability to fight off infection. Stress weakens the immune system, and exercise is one of the best ways to effectively manage stress. So cardio on and enjoy better health!