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Benefits of cardiovascular exercise


Running- just one of the many types of cardiovascular exercises

By now we have all heard the buzz that cardiovascular exercise is good for us…But why? Believe it or not there are other benefits to participating in cardiovascular training besides just preparing for swimsuit season—GASP! If the most obvious benefit of cardio training, weight loss, isn’t a motivator for you, here are some other reasons to lace up your running shoes.

First off, “What it cardiovascular exercise”? Cardiovascular exercise, also known as cardio respiratory training, is defined as the ability to perform repetitive, large muscle movements for a prolonged period of time.   For optimal health and fitness benefits The American College of Sports Medicine recommends,  “burning 300 calories per exercise session performed three times a week, or 200 calories per session performed four times per week.”  However, if you’re in it primarily for weight loss, four to five days of cardio training is recommended.

While cardiovascular training isn’t usually a “fan favorite” keep in mind cardiovascular exercise isn’t limited to just running on a treadmill. Whether you like biking, hiking, or just jumping up and down on one foot, remember you can do what ever kind of cardio is fun to you, while reaping all the benefits. 

Still not convinced…. Here are 5 benefits of participating in regular cardiovascular exercise:

1.    Exercise= Happiness:  Cardiovascular exercise releases endorphins into the brain which can give you a natural high, also known as a “runners’ high”. Cardio also helps decrease depression and stress, while boosting self esteem.                                                                     

 2.    Decreased body fat:  Cardiovascular exercises burn calories, which is a must for losing weight and burning fat.  

3.    Improved sleep:  While the positive link between cardio and mood can help improve sleep, there is actually more to it than that. Cardiovascular exercise, especially in the afternoon or early evening, raises your body temperature above normal. Within the next few hours before bedtime, your body temperature slowly begins to decreases triggering sleep. Keep in mind though that cardio training stimulates your muscles, brain, and heart, so exercise too close to bedtime can inhibit sleep.           

4.    Better sex life:  Now that I’ve got your attention….Research suggests that regular cardiovascular exercise can lead to an increased sex drive in women. It could be due to their improved self esteem, the energy boost, or the physical body improvements, but whatever it is it’s safe to say their partners probably aren’t complaining. Don’t worry ladies this isn’t a one way street. Men who add cardio training to their workout routine are less likely to have erectile dysfunction, especially as they age.         

5.    Numerous health benefits:  Regular cardiovascular exercise is the core to your health and       well-being. Cardio training: lowers blood pressure, strengthens bones, helps prevent disease, lowers cholesterol, increases HDL’s, strengthens the heart, improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, and boosts your immune system.

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  • denvergirl 5 years ago

    Thanks Jenn! This is a great motivator for my new year's resolution!

  • Allison 5 years ago

    Hey Jenn
    I agree cardio is such a turn off when you think of running on a treadmill. BUT I LOVE bike riding it's tons of fun and the fresh air is great.

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