Why Cardio Workouts Are Important

No matter where you train or how you train, you need all types of workouts to become fit. Strength training is important, but so are flexibility, balance and cardio workouts. Luckily, many of these workouts can be combined and done at the same time. If you’re doing HIIT training, regardless of the type of exercise you’re doing, it’s cardio. Other names for cardio training are aerobic and endurance training. It can be as simple as walking flight of stairs or more complicated like pushing through circuit training with very little rest between stations.

Aerobic literally means “with oxygen.”

You need a fit cardio-vascular system to intake the oxygen you need for moving and functioning. The heart pumps the blood and the lungs supply the oxygen for it. The oxygen rich blood is sent to every cell in the body. When you exercise, you increase circulation, which increases oxygen and nutrient delivery to every cell. Your heart gets stronger and you breathe deeper, making both more efficient. Your muscles work more efficiently and you build more muscular strength and endurance. Cardio training is necessary for strong muscles, too.

If you’re depressed, perhaps cardio training can help.

Runners’ high is real. It’s the body’s way of helping you get past pain. Early man probably didn’t run for fun, but to stay alive. If he felt sore and wanted to quit too soon, it could mean his life ending. The same is true in battle, after a point of almost exhaustion, the body kicks in hormones like endorphins to make you feel better. These are natural pain relievers. Aerobic—cardio—workouts, provide those endorphins. It improves your mood and boosts your energy level. Feel good hormones include dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.

No matter what part of your body, cardio helps it function better.

Even your brain benefits from cardio. Increased blood circulation increases oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, including the brain. Studies show it can improve cognitive functioning, recall and alertness. In fact, studies show that cardio can help slow dementia and Alzheimer’s too. The brain is 70% water and cardio helps it stay hydrated, while also aiding in the removal of toxins.

  • Something as simple as walking can boost your cardio health. Try to walk as fast as possible or vary your walking speed to make it a HIIT workout. One study showed that people who had longer and faster strides lived longer.
  • Cardio workouts can help you sleep better. One of the hormones produced during cardio is serotonin, which is necessary for adequate sleep. A good night’s sleep is not only heart healthy, it helps keep the hunger/satiety hormones in check. The body creates more hunger hormones when you lack sleep.
  • You need at least 150 minutes of cardio workouts every week. You’ll get some when you workout at the gym, but can fill in the gap on your days off with walking. You can keep sessions as short as five to ten minutes and still get benefits.
  • Cardio workouts can help lower blood pressure and reduce pain and stiffness of arthritis. It helps maintain blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of osteoporosis if it’s weight bearing, like walking.

For more information, contact us today at Iron Fit

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