Most people who are heading to the gym to work on their physique and build some muscle realise that weight training and good nutrition are key to fat loss and muscle growth. At the same time, if your goal is weight loss, a caloric deficit is how overall weight loss is achieved. Cardio can aide in both of those approaches and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and improve your wellbeing!
Cardio should be added into your regime if you are looking to enhance your overall health and feel the benefits of getting your heart rate going! Here are five reasons why you should add regular cardio into your weekly fitness plan.
Regular cardio improves your endurance
Incorporating regular aerobic exercise into your life has been found to improve heart and lung health which in turn improves your cardiorespiratory endurance. Regular cardio has also been found to improve how well the body circulates oxygen, helping you become fitter and able to stay active longer. Better endurance comes in handy when weight training - especially if you are squatting or performing a deadlift!
It improves your mood
Cardio is also great at improving your mental state and putting you in a better mood! Studies have shown that increased cardiovascular exercise contributes towards alleviating feelings of anxiety and depression. Exercise, cardio especially, triggers the release of endorphins in the body – the chemical responsible for feelings of happiness and joy.
It improves your health and is good for longevity
In terms of your long-term health plan, cardio (when complimented with weight training and good nutrition) contributes towards good health and longevity. Research from the University of Harvard concluded from a study of 122,000 random people that a better CRF (Cardiorespiratory Fitness) correlated to living longer and improved health. Cardio exercise was deemed one of the best ways to boost your CRF fitness. Furthermore, regular aerobic exercise is associated with a lower chance of developing high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.
Cardio builds mental resilience
Whilst the science behind this theory is still slightly uncertain, it is thought that pushing yourself further and exercising with the aim of increasing your heart rate for a prolonged period can build your mental toughness and overall resilience. When you are pushing yourself to reach your potential and fighting to beat a personal best you must push your body to its limit. One research study found that out of a group of people who regularly exercise those who were incredibly intense in their physical output and persistence when performing cardiovascular fitness were observed to have more mental resilience.
It can supplement fat loss and improve your weight training sessions
Incorporating some running, biking, swimming, or even brisk walking into your weekly workout can help you increase your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) which will keep you in a deficit. 30 minutes on a treadmill can burn anywhere from 280 to 500 calories depending on your weight. Cardio doesn’t have to be boring either! Playing a sport once a week or cycling to work can be small steps that improve your health & fitness.
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