Amazing Health Benefits of Cardio

We all know exercise is an important part of staying healthy and in shape. However, some types of exercise can be more beneficial than others. Recent research is showing that good old-fashioned cardio can be one of the most beneficial forms of exercise you can do.

Cardio is short for cardiovascular. It is synonymous with aerobic exercise which means “with oxygen.” It involves activity where you repeatedly move the large muscles in your arms, legs and hips. It causes your heart rate to increase and maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood so you can use oxygen more efficiently.

How Cardio is Good for You

Cardio has several benefits in the body. Here are some ways it can work to improve health:

●      Brain: Increases blood flow and decreases the chances of a stroke, improves memory, and fights against neuro-degeneration.

●      Skin: Increases circulation, so skin is clearer and healthier.

●      Blood: Controls blood sugar and helps regulate cholesterol levels.

●      Muscles: Increased oxygen allows muscles to work harder, enabling them to adapt to an increased workload.

●      Weight: Helps maintain weight to protect against obesity other related diseases.

●      Joints and Bones: Exercise makes joints and bones stronger, while reduced weight eliminates added stress that can lead to degeneration.

●       Lungs: Increases lung capacity to reduce fatigue and shortness of breath.

If you are working cardio into your routine, here are a few tips for how you can begin integrating it. Start off doing light exercise to see how your body adapts. Short walks are a great way to begin. Gradually increase the time you spend doing exercises and consider making them more intensive.

Cardio Exercise in 3 Steps 

1. Incorporate three steps into your cardio routine. Start by warming up for 5 to 10 minutes to rev up your cardiovascular system.

2. The next step will be conditioning. Go at your own pace and try to work up to 30 minutes of cardio a day.

3. Finally, do a 5 to 10 minute cool down. Stretching is a great way to allow your heart rate and muscles return to normal after a workout.

With all the fancy exercises coming out today, it is good to know you can still rely on cardio to provide you with optimal health benefits. It is a great way to keep weight low, fight disease and boost wellness in the body. How will you be incorporating this form of exercise in your everyday life? What other fun fitness fads do you enjoy?

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash


5 Easy Ways to Get Moving This Winter

As the temperature drops, for most of us, so does motivation to get out and exercise. With the freezing cold and darkness outside, it can be so difficult to find the inner strength to get up from our warm, comfy beds for a pre-work morning exercise, or resist the temptation to just relax indoors with a glass of wine after work. Fitness gurus recommend shaking things up a bit and looking for some variety to your usual exercise routine. Here are 5 winter fitness activities you can try this season!

5 Fun Winter Fitness Tips

Cross-Country Skiing

Look no further for the perfect full-body workout this winter. Cross-country skiing can be an intense cardiovascular workout that develops your full-body strength. With no ski lifts, you’ll be using your arms to propel yourself, and your legs as you climb some steep hills before that glorious descent. Plus, you can bring your friends and family along, making it a fun adventure for all.

Snowboarding

If skiing is not for you, you should definitely try snowboarding. One hour of snowboarding can help you burn about 450 calories. It can be a little more difficult to learn than skiing, but when you’ve mastered it, there’s no going back. Snowboarding isn’t just a cardio workout; it can also improve your flexibility, balance, coordination, and strengthen your core. You can enjoy the beautiful outdoors, while staying fit and in tip-top shape.

Ice Skating

Another fun winter fitness activity you can try is ice skating. It may seem less hardcore than snowboarding or skiing, but it still burns a lot of calories. It builds your lower body strength and tones your core muscles. According to Harvard Medical School, for every half an hour of ice skating, the average person can burn as much as 200 to 300 calories. What’s great is you don’t have to travel far to enjoy ice skating, as most local ice rinks are available for open skate hours.

Having a Snowball Fight

You don’t have to go very far to maintain a winter fitness routine, you can do it right outside your door! Channel your inner child and feel young again as you have a snowball fight with a friend. If you have kids, this can be a great chance for them to play outside and not stay cooped up inside the house for too long. It’s also great for spending quality time and building lasting memories they will surely cherish.

Shoveling Snow

Your winter fitness routine can be a practical one, too. Shoveling snow uses the muscles in your shoulders, arms, core and legs. It’s a vigorous exercise and helpful at the same time! How’s that for multi-tasking? 

Don’t let winter get in the way of your fitness goals. Try something different, spice things up and stay motivated this season!

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Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash