At the Heart of Cardio
Cardio should be an integral part of everyone’s gym routine, but many people make the mistake of not including enough cardio if they’re trying to focus on other goals. Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system – keeping your heart and lungs in proper working order – should be a major part of every workout.
Cardio is great as a standalone exercise, or as a way to warm up your body for the tougher exercise that’s still to come, but it has its own benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are a few ways for you to improve your cardio routine, so you know you’re getting the best out of your workout.
The benefits of cardio for your body
One of the top benefits of cardio is that it strengthens the heart. Your heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle, you need to work it to keep it in shape. Although you can’t strengthen it with weights, a good way to help work your heart out is to get a good cardio workout in 2-3 times a week.
Cardio also helps increase the speed of various bodily processes such as your metabolism, which helps you digest and use your food faster, so it isn’t sitting in your stomach.
The benefits of cardio for your mind
Cardio doesn’t just benefit our physical bodies. It also helps release hormones that improve your mood, and alleviate depression and fatigue. While it might be hard to imagine getting in a workout if you’re feeling tired or blue, it’s actually the best thing for you under those circumstances.
Besides the fact that it just feels good to push yourself through something that you know is good for you, your workout also releases important hormones that regulate your sleep cycle, helping you achieve a more restful and healthy sleep.
Types of cardio
There are tons of different cardio activities that are beneficial for your workout – you just have to find one that you like. In the following few pages, we’ll break down the different types of cardio activities and how you can use them to tone various muscle groups as well as improve your stamina and strength.
Don’t worry if you don’t find an activity you like right away – sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find something that you legitimately enjoy doing. Don’t waste time on something you don’t enjoy, it might affect your overall love for cardio in a detrimental way.