Everyone knows that cardio is good for you, but do you know why? Cardio strengthens your heart and lungs, helps to prevent heart disease and stroke, boosts your mood, and can even help you to lose weight. Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits.
1. Strengthens heart and lungs.
Regular cardio exercise improves the functioning of your heart and lungs, making them more efficient at delivering oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. This can lead to improved athletic performance as well as reduced fatigue and shortness of breath during everyday activities.
2. Prevents heart disease and stroke.
Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Fortunately, regular cardio exercise can help to reduce your risk for both conditions. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce body fat—all risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
3. Boosts mood.
Cardio exercise releases endorphins, which have been shown to improve mood and mental well-being. If you’re feeling down or stressed out, a quick jog or bike ride could be just what you need to boost your spirits.
4. Weight loss.
Cardio can help you to burn calories and lose weight—particularly if it’s combined with a healthy diet. For best results, aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (such as brisk walking) most days of the week.
Aerobic exercise—or cardio—is an important part of any fitness routine. It has multiple benefits, including strengthening the heart and lungs, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, boosting mood, and aiding in weight loss. So, the next time you’re looking for a workout that will benefit your overall wellness, be sure to include some cardio!