Whether you want to lose weight or simply ward off chronic diseases, cardiovascular exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health. In fact, you might be interested to know that people with low cardiovascular health face a 56 percent higher risk of death from heart disease. Along with smoking, family history, and diabetes, lack of cardiovascular exercise is one of the primary predictors of cardiovascular disease.
But that’s not the only reason you should pursue a cardiovascular exercise program. Cardio benefits you in at least five more important ways, such as…
Better sleep. Cardiovascular fitness has been linked to better quality sleep, such as reduced insomnia and night waking. If you’re having trouble getting a good night’s rest, head out for a brisk walk every day. Exercising outdoors is ideal, but working out with a stationary bike or treadmill can also help.
Reduced belly fat. Granted, reduced belly fat is also linked to lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. So you can see that all of these things are related! But aside from heart disease, belly fat is linked to other chronic conditions. And of course, many people simply want to reduce belly fat for aesthetic reasons.
Lower risk of diabetes. If you’re concerned about developing diabetes, regular cardiovascular exercise is one way to ward it off. Combine your efforts with a weight loss plan, if needed, and eat a healthy diet even if you’re of average weight.
Beat anxiety. If you struggle with bouts of anxiety, try literally walking (or running) away from it. Those who regularly engage in cardiovascular exercise frequently report lower levels of anxiety.
Improve your mood. Exercise has also been shown to ward off depression. For maximum benefit, aim to get your heart rate in the target zone for your age and body type for at least 30 minutes, three times per week. Combining your workout with sunlight exposure is often said to be the best combination for boosting your mood.
Of course, we do recommend that you check in with a doctor before starting a new exercise program. Call us for an appointment, and we can screen you for underlying health problems and discuss your plans to ensure that you’re exercising safely.