Being physically active not only helps your overall health, it can also speed up your recovery if you should need surgery or come down with an illness. Elizabeth Bluebird, a physical therapist with INTEGRIS Home Care, shares some simple exercises you can do at home, even while watching TV, that can help improve your fitness level.
In this video we discuss the benefits of cardiovascular exercise training and how cardio affects the body.
Benefits of cardio
Cardio or cardiovascular exercise which is any type of exercise that raises your heartbeat can have dramatic effects on not only your level of fitness, but on overall health as well.
Your respiratory and cardiovascular systems work together to deliver oxygen you breathe in to all parts of your body and doing regular cardio exercise sessions strengthens both of these systems and many of the organs in these systems.
Regular cardio exercise can help increase lung capacity, or the amount of air your lungs can hold, it can also strengthen your heart. Over time, if you stay consistent in doing cardio training, your heart becomes more efficient as it pumps more blood per beat that it did before. So, the heart can pump more oxygen rich blood throughout the body with less beats. This also means that your resting heart beat will decrease, making it much more efficient.
Regular cardio exercise paired with good nutritional habits can also help in fat loss. Burning more calories than you take in is key to weight loss, and doing regular cardio sessions is a great way to increase the amount of calories your body is burning.
Your stamina will also improve, walking long distances becomes easier, and you won’t get as tired doing regular activities such as going up stairs, doing housework, or taking care of the yard.
Cardio can help to improve sleep. Regular cardio sessions can help people fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep. It can also improve sleep duration, and decrease middle of the night wake ups providing a better overall sleep quality.
Regular bouts of cardio training can improve brain function. It can help improve circulation of blood to the brain and promote the health of blood vessels in the brain and it can stimulate the release of beneficial chemicals in the brain.
Cardio training can also help improve athletic performance. Specific training sessions can improve speed, and balance and coordination, all of which are important in sports. It can also decrease the risk of injuries and improve overall endurance.
Regular cardio sessions can also reduce the risk of some health factors such as cardiovascular disease, and developing type 2 diabetes. Regular cardio training can also increase your chances of living longer.
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