Conditioning of the heart and blood vessels occurs during nearly all athletic endeavors. Your heart is a muscle just like any other and in order for it to become strong it must be worked. If you fail to work it, it will weaken over time and this can cause a variety of negative health problems, sometimes deadly ones!. Cardio or anaerobic exercise is any exercise that gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation throughout the day and protects you from falling victim to one of the main killers of man.
The Many Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise
Besides the fact that it promotes weight loss, speeds up your metabolism and decreases your appetite - it goes way beyond that. Cardiovascular exercise decreases resting heart rate and increases heart volume. It increases maximum oxygen consumption, capillary density and blood flow to active muscles. Along with increasing total blood volume, it allows for maximal ventilation, and increases lung diffusion capacity which decreasing your chances of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. On top of that your muscles and joints become stronger which can lead relieve the pain of those with arthritis. Studies have also shown that regular cardiovascular exercise decreases symptoms of anxiety, tension, and depression. Running, actually releases beta endorphin chemicals which provide feelings of euphoria and extreme happiness. Aside from the boost of confidence you will feel from losing weight and looking good you will also get a natural high from just being active!
Some examples of cardiovascular exercises include:
- Jogging or running
- Using an elliptical machine
- Rowing machines
- Aerobic classes
- Martial arts
And any other activity which increases your heart beyond its resting range.
How much Cardiovascular Exercise Do I Need to Do?
To reap the full benefits make sure you’re cardio workout is anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes, at least three to five times a day. Depending on the results you want; whether you’re looking to develop large muscle mass or lean muscle mass there is an exercise that can help you to get the end result you want. To build large muscle mass I suggest exercises such as running, dancing, biking, and hiking with an emphasis on shorter, more intense sessions. To build lean muscle mass you can swim, try Yoga, Pilates, and running as long as its long distance running. Every day you exercise you decrease your chances of cardiovascular disease and decrease your risk for injury. You can also add years to your life by exercising daily for it decreases your chances of getting many other chronic ailments such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
If you already are plagued with chronic pain or ailments developing an exercise program that tailors to your needs is your best bet for combating the disease and reducing your symptoms. Exercise as well as diet will help anyone in achieving the level of fitness or health they desire. If you don’t know where or how to get started I would first check with your doctor to make sure you’re fit enough to start a new program and then I would try finding a gym that has easy access to knowledgeable personal trainers. Most importantly don’t be afraid to try new things, and any exercise is better than zero exercise.