As mentioned in the previous blog (and as will be mentioned in the next three blogs following this one), there are four different aspects of fitness: strength, cardio, flexibility, and balance.  A well-rounded fitness routine should address of all four categories; not just one!  All of the aspects of fitness complement and improve one another, which is what makes their combined power so vital to your health!  Read more from our article Your Own Monthly Fitness Challenge, to learn more about how they help each other out!

The aspect we’re focusing on today is cardiovascular exercise!  What is it and why is it so important?

What is “cardio”?

“Cardio” is, of course, short for cardiovascular.  A cardiovascular exercise is one that increases your heart rate.  Its benefits include:

  • Weight loss
  • Strengthened heart and lung function
    • This kind of exercise demands more oxygen, which causes the heart to work harder and increase the blood volume that it delivers to your muscles
    • The delivery of oxygen to your blood and removal of  carbon dioxide waste will become more efficient
  •  Improved mood
    • Release the endorphins!  Relieve stress!
  • Reduced risk of disease
    • Especially heart disease and some forms of cancer
  • Improved sleep
    • While exercising, cardio increases your body temperature.  Your temperature then naturally cools off post-exercise, which will relax you and promote restful sleep.
    • Cardio can improve sleep issues such as insomnia
  • More energy
    • The more you move yourself around, the more cardiovascular endurance you’ll gain.  And the more cardiovascular endurance you have, the more readily you can move!

 

Now go do some cardio!

With improved heart health, increased metabolism, stress relief, and improved recovery ability, cardiovascular fitness is vital to your overall health.  Don’t let yourself miss out on any of those benefits! If you’re the type of person who does a lot of strength building exercises but not so much cardio training, go ahead and challenge yourself!  Alternate between the different aspects of fitness during your workout regimen and see what happens! (If you go back and read the previous blog Your Own Monthly Fitness Challenge, you’ll learn about how cardiovascular exercise can actually improve your ability to strength train!)

Give your heart some love!  Try out some cardio exercises like:

  • Running, cycling, swimming, jumping rope, kettlebells
  • Weight Lifting can also be cardio if you get your heart rate up

 

If you have any questions, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Randy Moyer.

We’ll talk about flexibility next week in Aspects of Fitness: Part 3!

 

Written by: Katrina Jenkins

Photo credit: Pixabay