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Top 8 Benefits of Cardio Exercise

by Grace Sianna
running on a treadmill

Cardio is an important part of any workout. If you want to burn off those excess fats, have six-pack abs, or just improve your overall health, you should make sure to include cardio exercises in your training.

According to health experts, a person should do around 150 minutes of cardio workout on average each week to maintain their health and lower the risk of diseases. And, for those who are overweight and want to lose a significant amount of weight, they may have to do more, about 300 or more minutes, so as to effectively shed off those extra pounds.

What is cardio exercise?

Cardio exercise refers to any physical activity that raises the heart rate up to a point where your body burns the most amounts of calories and fat. It can be a sport, such as basketball or football, a common day-to-day activity, such as walking or climbing stairs, or a household chore, such as scrubbing the bathroom tiles or gardening.

How many calories does cardio exercise burn?

The amount of calories burned when doing cardio training depends on a number of factors, including the type of cardio exercise, the intensity of the workout, duration of the workout, and your body weight.

Below are some common cardio exercises and the number of calories they can burn:

morning run by the docksRunning
    • 650 calories burned per hour (125-lb person)
    • 800 calories burned per hour (155-lb person)
    • 960 calories burned per hour (185-lb person)
Biking
    • 480 calories burned per hour (125-lb person)
    • 600 calories burned per hour (155-lb person)
    • 710 calories burned per hour (185-lb person)
Jump rope
    • 450 calories burned per hour (125-lb person)
    • 560 calories burned per hour (155-lb person)
    • 670 calories burned per hour (185-lb person)
Swimming
    • 400 calories burned per hour (125-lb person)
    • 490 calories burned per hour (155-lb person)
    • 590 calories burned per hour (185-lb person)

Why should you do cardio?

There are plenty of reasons why you should start doing cardio now. Below are examples of health benefits you can get from cardio:

  1. Heart

Did you know that your heart is a muscle? Thus, like the other muscles in your body, it needs exercise to gain more strength and stamina. A cardio workout is the best way to work your heart. Through consistent and regular exercise, your heart can be stronger and more efficient in pumping enough blood in your body. You can also have a reduced risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and other heart-related complications.

  1. Lungs

Do you notice how easily you run out of breath when climbing up even just a single flight of stairs? Your lungs are two of the most important organs in your body. To keep them healthy and working properly for a very long time, they need exercise too. Cardio is an effective way to increase the power of your lungs, allowing you to do a wide variety of physical activities without having to catch your breath every few seconds.

  1. Metabolism

Have you heard of how some people have a faster metabolism than others? Metabolism is a crucial bodily process that involves various chemical reactions that keep your cells, muscles, organs, and tissues working right, keeping you alive and your different organs and systems functioning. According to fitness experts, those who have a faster metabolism are considered to be in better shape than those who have a slower metabolism. Through cardio exercise, you can boost your metabolism, and enhance the performance of your vital organs and systems.

  1. Mood

Do you always feel sad or have that negative feeling in your chest that you cannot seem to get rid of? The human body produces several different kinds of hormones, including certain hormones that can make you feel good and happy. Through cardio, you can get a lot more of these happiness hormones, and spend your days with that pleasant and optimistic feeling. You can also reduce your risk of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, better manage your stress levels, and have more energy to face the challenges of the day.

  1. Weight loss

Have you tried different kinds of diet fads but have not gotten good results? Diet is the most crucial element in weight loss. If you eat less through calorie counting and portion control, even without exercise, you can reduce the number of calories that your body gets, and be able to lose weight. But, if you also include cardio exercise in your weight loss program, you can burn off more calories, and reach your fitness goals faster. You can also tone and strengthen your muscles, and look a lot more fit and in shape.

  1. sex from behindSex life

Are you worried that you could just lose your libido or not get an erection one day? To enjoy an active and fun sex life for as long as possible, you have to be more physically active. If you can commit to a regular cardio routine, you can enhance your sexual health, and be protected against low sex drive, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and other sexual and reproductive health problems.

  1. Sleep

Do you find it hard to fall asleep at night? According to medical professionals, 7 to 8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep that you should get every night to remain healthy. If you get less than that, you are likely to develop some serious health problems, such as memory loss, lack of focus, high blood pressure, migraines, hormonal imbalance, and heart disease. Cardio can help you sleep better at night, as it can clear your mind, relax your muscles, and reduce your stress.

  1. Self-confidence

Do you get self-conscious about your beer belly and have avoided wearing clothes that are tight-fitting? Many people deal with their flabby arms, back rolls, or gut by hiding them under baggy clothes. Doing this can be quite uncomfortable and limiting to one’s sense of style and fashion. But, if you do cardio to lose weight and tone your body, you can be in good shape and gain a lot more confidence.

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