We all know a healthy lifestyle includes exercise, especially cardio exercise that gets your heart and blood pumping.
But, why is cardio exercise so important to heart health? What happens to your body when you do cardio exercise regularly?
We know the benefits of exercise mainly by the exterior results we see. We have less fat on our body, we look slimmer and healthier, but what’s happening on the inside?
Cardiorespiratory exercise (aka, cardio), is a workout for your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.
When you run, swim, jump rope, ride a bike, or generally get your heart rate up and blood pumping, you are making it work harder. That additional work, strengthens your heart and cardiovascular system overall. While you might not see a difference on the outside, you’ll feel the difference.
Like other muscles, when your heart has to work harder at its job, it becomes stronger and more efficient.
Just as your legs get better at holding you up and moving your body the more you run, your heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood the harder it has to work.
When your heart can more efficiently pump blood, day to day activities will become easier and you can lower your resting heart rate, or your heart rate when you aren’t particularly active or exerting yourself.
Cardio Benefits to Lower Cholesterol
Regular cardio helps you to lose weight. You know that.
But unhealthy amounts of excess fat allow your body to hold onto low-density lipoproteins, or the bad cholesterol in your blood.
Research shows regular exercise could stimulate enzymes that transport bad cholesterol out of the blood and into the liver where it is converted or expelled from the body.
1 – Walk your dog
Nothing will keep you more accountable than a pet that needs to be exercised. Taking your dog for regular walks is a great way to bond with your canine, give your walk a sense of purpose, and fit some cardio into your day.
2 – Join a friend
Do you have a friend who walks in the park about every day? Or maybe a co worker who likes to take a stroll on their lunch break? Ask if you can join! This will also keep you accountable, and prevent you from feeling discouraged or alone in your cardio and health goals.
3 – Walk on your lunch break
Your lunch break is a precious hour of time, we know. But Even 20 minutes doing laps around the building will not only boost your mood and energy for the rest of the day, it adds up quickly to the 100 minutes of cardio doctors recommend having every week. Other than the weight, what’s there to lose?
4 – Take a jump rope
Maybe it’s too cold, there’s bad weather, or your traveling. Being cooped up inside doesn’t have to keep you from getting your cardio in. A jump rope is easy to pack or carry, and is a no-brainer for a great indoor cardio workout.
5 – Ditch the car
Your neighborhood pharmacy is just a couple blocks away. You’re meeting a friend for coffee half a mile up the street. Ditch your car! Walk or bike to meet a friend or when making a pharmacy run! Not only are you accomplishing something, you’re getting the daily dose of cardio efficiently.
For more health tips, visit the L-Arginine Plus Blog!