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Cardiovascular exercise, when practiced frequently and moderately, has many health benefits. Nonetheless, there is always the risk that an excess of a good thing can turn bad. Too much cardio has the same effect. Click here to read more about cardiovascular exercise.

What Are The Benefits of Cardio Exercise?

Anyone can benefit from cardiovascular exercise regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability. Not only is it good for both the body and the mind, but it also improves the health and fitness of your body.

Illustration of improved heart and brain health which are benefits of cardio exercise.

Improved Heart Health

One of the benefits of cardio exercise is to help reduce blood pressure at rest and boost heart health. It also helps build stronger muscles, including the heart, boost your HDL (good cholesterol) and lessen your anxiety and stress. Cardio exercise cuts down blood protein and wards off heart disease. It also keeps your blood sugar under control.

The result is a reduced resting heart rate and improved cardiac muscle strength. This explains why you can increase the duration and frequency of your cardio workouts over time.

Enhanced Brain Health

Regular cardio exercise increases the size of the brain responsible for learning, remembering, and reasoning. Our brain has neuroplasticity ability to allow us to learn new things. The benefits of cardio exercise improve not only cognitive function but also cognitive performance in the elderly. In addition to the mental health benefits, cardio can help you get the restful sleep you need.

Weighing scale and a tape measure which illustrates weight regulation.

Weight Regulation

Cardio helps burn extra calories and control weight by getting the heart rate into the target heart rate zone. This zone is where the body burns the most calories.

Increased Metabolic Rate

Cardiovascular exercise boosts metabolism in every way. One of the benefits of cardio exercise is that it stimulates the release of the hormone FGF21. FGF21, or the fibroblast growth factor 21, reduces food intake and increases energy expenditure.

Happy girl sitting on the ground playing with leaves.

Improved Mood And Energy

You release more endorphins when you do cardio exercises, making you feel good. It also helps your body produce more dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine hormones. When your mood is better, you feel more energized, which is one of the benefits of cardio exercise. The increased release of hormones makes you less stressed and gives you more energy. It improves your memory and makes it easier to concentrate.

Management Of Arthritis

Regular cardiovascular exercise can help relieve arthritis pain and joint stiffness.

Man on a PPE with his mask on.

Stronger Immune System

Regular exercise boosts the production of antibodies and white blood cells. The benefits of cardio exercise are to keep the body from getting sick.

Lower Your Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, you can benefit from cardio exercise by reducing blood sugar levels. And also improving your insulin resistance. If you have diabetes and take insulin or other medicines, talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise plan.

Banana, eggplant, and cucumber which illustrates sexual function.

Improves Sexual Function

Cardio exercise has had a direct and positive effect on sexual function in both men and women.

Among the many benefits of cardio exercises for men is it increases blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body. Not only is this good for sexual activity, but it also makes it less likely that a man will have trouble keeping an erection.

In terms of women’s sexual benefits from cardio exercise, exercise makes them more sexually aroused.

May Improve Skin

Staying active through cardio training or other means boosts blood flow. In turn, it aids in the elimination of waste products. For some, it could mean fewer breakouts and a more radiant, hydrated appearance.

Potential Risks Of Cardio Exercises

Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar

While this is certainly a benefit of cardio exercise, people with diabetes should be aware that exercise can cause a temporary drop in blood sugar levels. It is crucial to keep an eye on your blood sugar before and after you work out.

It’s recommended that people with diabetes eat a healthy snack while exercising to keep their blood sugar stable. Experts recommend a snack with 15–30g of carbohydrates, like fruit, crackers, fruit juice, or glucose tablets.

Skipping A Warm-Up Can Worsen Arthritis

An excellent way to get those muscles to relax and loosen up is with a good warm-up. It is essential for people with joint and muscle pain as it can exacerbate their symptoms. Generally, a warm-up should take 10-15 minutes.

You can do light stretches, march in place, or even walk around to get warmed up. It’s also a good idea to take a warm shower before hitting the gym to increase your body temperature and blood flow.

Severe Asthma

People with severe asthma should engage in shorter bursts of energy, like tennis and swimming. So you can stop and catch your breath every so often. Do not neglect to use an inhaler when called for.

Risks Of Overdoing It For Newbies

Anyone not used to working out should take it slow when starting a new routine. Someone “new” to fitness should ease into it over a few weeks. Start working out for 10–20 minutes every other day. Doing this will help with muscle soreness and fatigue.

A Note From Gulf Physio

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the subject matter above. This blog post is not a substitute for medical advice. The author cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information presented. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult a healthcare professional. All decisions and actions you make are your own. No one involved in making this resource is liable for its use.

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