What Does Cardio do For Your Body? The Beginner’s ABC to Cardio

what does cardio do for your body

“So, what does cardio do for your body?”

If you’re scratching your head right now, you’ve come to the right place.

If you couldn’t care less, you’ve also come to the right place.

We all know the importance of fitness as part of a healthy lifestyle, but the way we go about doing our exercise is crucial. It is important to understand the core ideas behind exercise in order for us to exercise effectively.

Whether you’re an athlete or a couch potato, you use cardio every day; so if you want to up your fitness game or get to know the theory behind exercise, you must understand cardio.

What Is Cardio, And Why do I Need to do it?

SCIENCE: What Does Cardio do For Your Body – The Super-Short Version

Your muscles require oxygen for movement, whatever level of strain they are experiencing. From walking down the street to pumping iron, your heart enables the glorious miracle that is movement.

Cardiovascular fitness, cardio, or aerobic exercise, describes the ability of your heart, lungs and blood to supply your muscles with this oxygen. It also includes the ability of your muscles to utilize this oxygen.

There are many factors that influence the ability of this process including:

stroke volume: the amount of blood pumped by your heart each beat
heart rate: the number of beats per minute
cardiac output: quantity of blood pumped per minute
oxygen consumption: amount of oxygen used by body per minute

Cardio involves elevating your heart rate for an extended period of time. Classic cardio workouts include: swimming, running, jogging, or any other steady-state low-intensity exercise.

So, Why Should I Care About Cardio?

Let’s face it, our bodies were made to move. Sitting hunched over a computer all day leaves you feeling worn down, while a solid workout will leave your body feeling energized, refreshed and alive.

Quick fact:

“Physical activity is an important way to prevent heart disease – the nation’s No. 1 killer — and stroke, the nation’s No. 5 killer.”

Reference: clevelandclinic.org – 21 Fast Facts About Exercise and Your Heart

Here are just some of the benefits of cardiovascular exercise:
– Weight loss
– Reducing belly fat
– Reducing anxiety & depression
– Reducing risk of heart disease
– Improved sleep
– Improved energy and concentration levels

It’s unfortunate that many see cardio simply as a way to lose weight. Yet, you can see looking at this list that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

There are a host of benefits to cardio, all of which will improve your quality of life.

Make Cardio a Part of Your Life

If you see exercise as a chore, it will be. Yet it doesn’t HAVE TO BE.

Exercise can be a part of your life that you enjoy and even look forward to as part of your daily routine. Having a daily (or regular) routine will give you self-discipline, satisfaction and can be a real confidence booster when times are tough.

Making cardio a part of your daily routine will enrich your life in more ways than you can ever imagine.

Making cardio a part of your daily routine will enrich your life in more ways than you can ever imagine. Click To Tweet

Okay, So How do I Start With Cardio Then?

Start easy.

Set realistic goals for yourself. Aim for 20 minutes per day, 3 times a week as a starting point for your cardio workouts- this is the minimum to see results.

As you build up resilience, fitness, and confidence, you can start to increase the frequency and length of your workouts.

It’s better to start out small and ramp up the effort, rather than bite off more than you can chew.

Take it slow, make it a part of your life.

Think of cardio as a pillar of your life; something that you cannot fully exist without. After you have started seeing the benefits and life-enriching results that it brings, this will happen automatically.

What Types of Exercise Can I do For Cardio?

If running, swimming, biking, walking or jogging don’t float your boat, don’t worry. They are NOT the only cardio exercises out there.

Here are a few alternate ideas to get you started:

– Circuit training
– Rowing machine
– Cross-trainer
– Plyometrics
– Skipping rope
– Steppers

If you need more ideas, check out my article on cardio workouts to get inspired.

Final Words – Cardio is In Your DNA

Still asking yourself; “what does cardio do for your body”? Or is it all clear now?

As human beings, cardio is in our DNA; it’s something we can’t, and shouldn’t live without. A regular cardio exercise regime is central to a happy, healthy life.

If you’re new to the idea, don’t freak out- start easy and work your way up. Soon you’ll be seeing the light, and there will be no turning back!

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