Cardiovascular exercise is any type of exercise that apart from burning fat, helps enhance the functionality of your heart and lungs, reducing your susceptibility to more serious problems such as high blood pressure and cardiac arrest.
From running and walking, to swimming, elliptical cross-training, biking, Stairmaster, and rowing — to name a few — the physical benefits of cardio exercise abound. The most commonly know benefits include:
- Reduced risk of heart disease.
- Improved blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Improved heart function.
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis.
- Improved muscle mass.
These benefits are a result of the following:
Cleaner blood vessels. A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for a poor cholesterol profile. This can lead to clogged blood vessels. Cardio workouts serve to open up these vessels, increasing your blood flow.
Improved hemoglobin performance. If your hemoglobin levels are low or your lungs are not taking in the required amount of oxygen, you are likely to experience constant periods of fatigue and reduced activity. Cardio workouts will open up your lungs, ensuring pumping of enough blood to your muscles.
Improved mitochondria functionality. Mitochondria are the structures that aid in energy production in your cells. The process of converting your food into energy no doubt requires oxygen. By optimizing your oxygen intake, cardio workouts ensure high energy levels required for your metabolic activity.
Increased stroke volume of the heart. The effectiveness of your heart can be measure by the volume of blood pumped per minute. Cardio workouts on a consistent basis will increase the volume pumped out in one minute.
To reap all the benefits of a cardio workout, you should sustain your workout for 20 minutes or more on a schedule of about three to four times per week.Resource: OnFitness Magazine