Educational Content

The benefits of cardio

What is Cardio?

Cardio exercise is an important element of all intense workouts to burn fat, tone muscles, and increase stamina. Cardio is a form of aerobics that involves repetitive movement of major muscles of the body, mainly in the arms, legs, and hips. It is great for warming up and comes with several health benefits. Cardio exercises increase your heartbeat and breathing rate to compensate for the accelerated oxygen consumption. 

Beginners easily get tired after doing cardio for just a few minutes. It takes time getting used to, as the body slowly develops aerobic capacity, i.e. the ability of heart and lungs to supply oxygen to muscles. Professionals or athletes can perform cardio for longer periods without getting too tired. Do not try to match their energy in your first try, because overexertion can lead to personal injuries.

Why is Cardio Good for you?

It is easy to detest cardio, but you will not say no once you learn how advantageous it is. It is a short cut to weight loss, as it burns fat faster than any other form of physical activity. People who indulge in cardio every day (about ten minutes is decent) can say goodbye to heart problems. It is great for strengthening the heart and lungs; you will never be short of breath while climbing the highest mountains. 

Cardio exercise is the answer to a healthy lifestyle as it helps prevents heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis, and some forms of cancer. Regular cardio keeps you energized, stabilizes appetite, and eliminates muscle stiffness/fatigue. It activates the release of useful hormones in our bodies, such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. These hormones are valuable for eradicating anxiety and stress.

People who include cardio in their routine workout are likely to feel good about themselves and sleep better. Cardio exercises that involve weight lifting enhance bone density and firmness of muscles. The multiple health benefits improve your immune system, so you are less prone to viral infections.

As cardio makes the heart stronger, it will become capable of pumping blood more efficiently to all parts of the body. It eliminates LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol that blocks our arteries. Clear arteries improve blood flow and prevent high blood pressure. Regular cardio is good for diabetics because it regulates insulin levels in the bloodstream. High blood sugar and low blood sugar are both red flags in the health department. Insulin helps maintain blood sugar levels, so we do not suffer from Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia. 

As cardio strengthens the lungs, it may reduce symptoms of asthma as well. People with acute and chronic asthma must consult their doctor before getting into any workout regime. Starting with low-intensity exercises shall help in decreasing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks in the future.

Depression and Insomnia are two health conditions that are often associated with each other. Some types of insomnia are also the result of certain medication or an uncomfortable environment. However, most people have difficulty sleeping, even when they are tired because their minds are not clear. Cardio is a great way to release feelings of anxiety, anger, and sadness. Exercise a couple of hours before bedtime, and you will see the difference. You will defeat two of your worst enemies (depression and insomnia) with one bullet (cardio!).

People try a variety of diets to lose weight, and many achieve success too. After completing the diet course, these people will regain all the weight in a matter of time. Not to mention, repeating the diet does not work effectively anymore. Cardio is better than all types of diets because it not only sheds weight but helps keeps it off as well. Bonus is that you do not have to exclude a particular type of nutrient from your meals, i.e. carbs or fat.

Research proves that aerobic exercises promote the production of immunoglobulin in our blood, which is a class of proteins that serve as antibodies. Antibodies are an essential part of the immune system that helps tackle foreign particles entering the body. A strong immune system keeps us safe from bacteria, viruses, or germs that we inhale or ingest. 

It is a scientific fact that our brains start losing tissue by the age of thirty. Therefore, if you feel like you are not as attentive or intellectual as before, you are not wrong. People who participate in cardio or aerobics regularly can slow down this natural regression. Cardio facilitates in keeping your mind and body younger, and fresh.

Many aerobic exercises strengthen the body as a whole, including bone and muscles. People become prone to slips/falls at old age, leading to temporary injuries or lifelong disabilities. Cardio will help in maintaining a good balance and decreasing reaction time, as it supplements brainpower. 

Getting started

If you are ready to embrace a cardio regime, kick off with the low-intensity exercises. You can find infinite videos on YouTube and similar platforms to get started. If the low-intensity moves feel too easy, take things up a notch and advance towards moderate-intensity cardio. Your body will gradually grow resistant, and then you must attempt high-intensity routines. Do not overdo cardio as it can cause adverse effects. Avoid going beyond 30 minutes a day, and four to five days a week is plenty. 

Execution of cardio exercise regularly will eventually reduce your blood pressure and resting heart rate. This means your heart will not have to work so hard when you engage in rigorous physical activity. Cardio exercises are ideal for losing weight as it takes your body to the point where it utilizes maximum calories. People who want to maintain weight and get healthier should include 150 minutes of cardio per week. If you are aiming to shed a load of extra pounds, then you may need to complete more than 300 minutes per week. 

Cardio is recommendable for every age group and does not require any specific gym equipment. It is easily accessible, affordable, and highly effective. However, it is best to do it in combination with other exercises, such as Pilates, yoga, or dance. Limiting yourself to cardio and doing too much of it may produce adverse effects. 

Dr Aadarsh Yadav

Dr Adarsh Yadav is a registered medical expert currently is a medical officer at the department of paediatrics at Scheer memorial Adventist hospital, kavre, Nepal. He had been a very well trained medical practitioner, and apart from his medical practice, he had been a member of different health camps organizing blood donation camps in Bangladesh just during his internship.

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