Cardiovascular exercise is an important key to general health, weight loss and mental well-being. In fact, there are so many benefits to cardiovascular exercise that it is considered essential to health and life.
Cardiovascular exercise is defined as any sort of rhythmic exercise using large numbers of muscle groups. This exercise must be maintained for a period of time longer than ten minutes and should elevate heart rate and respiration. Some examples of cardiovascular exercise include running, walking, swimming, rowing, stair climbing and stepping. Many personal trainers believe that cardiovascular exercise is more important than strength training when creating a balanced and healthy body.
The benefits of cardiovascular exercise are enormous. With just three or four sessions of cardiovascular training per week, there is a noticeable change in the body’s resting heart rate. A healthy heart actually beats more slowly at rest. Cardiovascular exercise increases the muscle size and elasticity of the heart, making it beat more efficiently. These exercises also create more elasticity in the blood vessels and allow the lungs to transfer oxygen to the tissues with less effort. Regular cardiovascular exercise will make the body’s respiratory system much more efficient.
Other benefits of cardiovascular exercise include increased metabolism and a higher over-all metabolic rate. This means that the body will burn more calories and gain muscle mass more quickly. When weight-loss is a priority, cardiovascular exercise boosts the speed at which calories are burned. Burning more calories quickly makes losing weight much faster. Regular exercise also leads to a faster recovery time when the body is asked to perform at a high level.
Cardiovascular exercise releases endorphins within the human body. These endorphins create a sense of well-being and happiness for many people. It is believed that regular exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, can elevate moods and aid in relieving depression and anxiety. Exercise is often prescribed to patients with mood disorders with the belief that a healthy body creates a healthy mind. For people who suffer with anxiety, walking several miles a day is thought to offer better results for relief than medication.
For sufferers of diabetes and other diseases, cardiovascular exercise is sometimes a cure. Regular cardiovascular exercise will lower blood pressure by increasing blood flow and artery elasticity. It also decreases cholesterol levels in the blood and has a marked effect on blood sugar. Many diabetics are able to control their disease with changes to their diet and the addition of exercise. Cardiovascular exercise also decreases the risk of stroke, heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. Regular walking can actually create alternate pathways for blood flow within the body. This gives damaged tissues a new source of oxygen-rich blood and aids in the healing process. Bone density and strength is also aided by regular cardiovascular exercise leading to less bone breakage later in life.
Cardiovascular exercise is one of the most important ways to increase over-all health and aid in weight loss efforts. Adding cardiovascular exercise to any diet plan is an excellent way to lose weight.