You’ve heard for years that exercise is critical. There are scientific reasons why that is. And out of all the types of exercise one can do – weightlifting, sports, hiking – anything that involves cardio is usually the very best. Here’s what cardio can do for you.
Boost Brain Power
The mind and the body are inextricably connected. When your body feels good, your mind feels good – that’s just a fact. So, why does pushing your body to the limit when, say, running, help your mind? Essentially, running is one of the best things you can do for your brain. Moderate cardiovascular effort, done consistently for just twenty minutes can trigger neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that make you feel wonderful. It will take habitual cardio to really begin to feel any sort of ‘runner’s high’ (since your body needs to acclimate), but once you do, you will not want to go back. This is also why therapists often recommend exercise to clients who suffer from depression.
Improve Your Heart Health
Medical complications arising from obesity are still the number-one cause of death in America. The fact of the matter is you need to take care of your heart. It’s not only about exercise – the modern western diet is one that often leads people on a downward spiral of health over the decades. The high amount of red meat and unhealthy fats can especially be damaging. So, watch what you eat; eating seafood instead of red meat can improve your heart health, for example. But cardio is the other side of that same coin. By practicing regular cardio, you will keep your heart in tip-top shape and ensure that it stays that way for years to come.
Better Strength, Speed, and Stamina
As you practice habitual cardiovascular exercises (ideally on a daily basis, if not weekly), your entire body will start to improve. Cardio exercise most directly affects the heart, of course, but it also affects the legs, arms, lungs, circulatory system, and your body’s fat content. You will start to find yourself able to run or practice or play for longer and longer periods. If you run for cardio, you will be faster. If you play a certain sport, your skills will be sharper.
To put it frankly, cardio is a must. There is a serious possible detriment to your health, mental state, and health if done otherwise. It improves your brain, heart, and body. It is hard to develop such habits, of course – but it is undeniably worth it.
Check out this article on what to do if you struggle to work out in the summer!