Do you need some more reasons to do cardio routinely? We all know the importance of aerobic exercise for our heart. In addition to the benefits for your heart, you will be surprised at how else cardio can improve your life. You should consider doing aerobic exercise, even for those who already do a lot of anaerobic exercises. There are many proven health benefits for those of us that incorporate aerobic exercise into their daily routine.
Why Is It Called Cardio?
The reason we call it “Cardio” is that Cardiovascular or Aerobic Training improves your heart muscle and cardiovascular system. Although cardio also improves endurance, and regular aerobic exercise strengthens your heart. When you have a stronger heart, it pumps more efficiently, delivering oxygen and other essential nutrients throughout the body with less effort.
Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise
In this video, Dorian Wilson does a great job of educating on the physiological differences between aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
Health Benefits of Cardio i.e., The Importance of Aerobic Exercise
Research shows that there are many specific benefits of regular low impact aerobic exercise. If you start doing cardio routinely, you will find the best benefit is that you will feel great and here is a lot of reasons why.
1. Reduces Your stress
Regular aerobic exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers. Some additional benefits of endorphins are they reduce stress, depression, and anxiety.
2. Improves Your Sleep Patterns
Many of us when under stress have a hard time sleeping, well cardio also increases your calmness and improves sleep disorders (1).
3. Decreases Your Anxiety
Aerobic exercise can reduce your anxiety and improve the sleep quality for people who suffer from insomnia (1).
4. Can Reduce Chronic Pain
As we discussed, cardio releases endorphins and endorphins are our bodies, natural pain killers. With regular aerobic exercise, the release of these endorphins will help control chronic pain.
5. Aerobic Exercise Reduces Your Risk For Many Chronic Diseases
There is countless research on the importance of aerobic exercise on reducing the risk factors for many chronic diseases. Now you can’t say that doing cardio will prevent any disease. What we do know is that cardio can reduce or even eliminate many of the risk factors doctors contribute to causing chronic illness.
6. Reduces Your Risk of Developing Insulin Sensitivity and Type 2 Diabetes
Aerobic exercise improves your glycemic (blood sugar) control even if you already have Type 2 Diabetes (adult-onset diabetes). Although, the most significant improvements for type 2 diabetes came from combining aerobic and resistance training. (2, 3).
7. Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease
Reducing the risk of heart disease is why aerobic exercise is called”Cardio.” Some of the disorders that cardio reduces the risk factors of are coronary artery disease, coronary heart disease angina. Although this is not an all-exclusive list, your heart will become stronger and work less when you do regular cardio.
8. Can Prevents Blocked Blood Vessels
Did you know that one of the importance of aerobic exercise is that it can stop or reverses the build-up in your arteries and blood vessels? Cardio improves your circulation in a way that can eliminate the build-up of blockages in your vessels that supply blood to your heart, amazing.
9. Your Body Will Produce More Red Blood Cells
When you do regular cardio, your body needs more oxygen. To increases, the total amount of oxygen available your body produces more red blood cells to facilitate the transport of oxygen.
10. Helps You Control Your Blood Sugar
This is a follow on benefit for reducing your risk to type 2 diabetes. Because regular exercise stops blood sugar fluctuations. Subsequently, this helps control your bodies insulin response as well.
11. Increases Your Bone Density
We normally consider that exercise increases our muscle density, but did you know that it can also improve your bone strength as well.
12. Helps Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is the gradual loss of bone mass and strength. Your bones become weaker if they are not stressed. The effects of gravity on earth help us maintain our bone density. Because astronauts don’t have the stress of gravity on their bones, they lose 1% of their bone density a month in space (4). Fortunately, you can also stress your bones with aerobic exercise to prevent bone calcium loss.
13. Improves Mobility and Strength Even As You Age
If you want to continue to be active as you age, you need to do cardio now. One major importance of aerobic exercise is that it improves mobility, flexibility, and strength throughout your life.
14. Cardio Promotes Weight Loss
This is probably the number one reason why people start doing aerobic exercise. There are many reasons why aerobic exercise helps you lose weight and we will cover many of them below.
15. Improves Your Weight
Doing regular exercise routines will help you maintain a healthy weight. Although doing routine cardio doesn’t mean you can eat anything and everything. You still need to maintain a sensible diet. Fortunately, your body will crave nutrients and nutrition food, the more that you exercise.
16. You Burn Calories
Aerobic exercise raises your metabolic rate and burns calories. So to maintain your current weight, the more you exercise, the more you will have to eat.
17. Reduces Your Body Fat
If you want the video on the aerobic vs. anaerobic exercise, you know that aerobic exercise burns fat as fuel, where anaerobic doesn’t. Aerobic exercise can also reduce your body mass index (BMI) (5).
18. Reduces Your Hunger and Suppresses Your Appetite
Aerobic exercise increases your leptin levels. Leptins are hormones that help reduce hunger and suppress your appetite. As a result, you are less likely to overeat or crave unhealthy food.
19. Increases Your Metabolism
Your metabolism is heightened for several hours following a session of aerobic activity. When you perform cardio the increase in your muscles workload results in an increased metabolic rate. Subsequently, your fuel consumption or calorie burn continues for several hours after the workout is completed so your body can repair and restore energy stores.
20. Improves Your Immune System
When you exercise regularly you are less susceptible to the common cold and flu, along with other minor viral illnesses.
21 Aerobic Exercise Will Help You Heal Faster
Many people who exercise regularly seem to heal faster. Aerobic exercise has even been shown to help the elderly heal faster who have not previously exercised. Exercise is the new medicine and that is one the importance of aerobic exercise (5).
22. Improved Your Muscle Health
Aerobic exercise stimulates the growth of your smallest blood vessels (capillaries) in your muscles. Accordingly, this helps your body be more efficient at delivering oxygen to your muscles. Additionally, more blood flow helps to remove the irritating metabolic waste products such as lactic acid.
23. Improve Athletic Performance
It is not surprising that being in better shape will improve your athletic performance as well. The is more to doing well at sports than just being fit. But they are many other ways that aerobic exercise improves athletic performance as we will discuss below.
24. Improves Your Balance and Coordination
Regular aerobic exercise will help you develop stabilizing muscles and improve your bodies spacial sense. In turn, your coordination and balance will improve. Also, there are many exercises designed to improve balance and coordination directly.
25. Tones Your Muscles and Makes You Stronger
Can’t believe we didn’t bring this up high on the list, but it is pretty obvious that exercise makes you stronger.
26. Increases Your Stamina and Endurance
Yes, exercise does make you tired in the short term, but this tells your body it needs to have better endurance. Thus, your body will strengthen your heart, improve blood flow, and stored energy in your body. Additionally, all of the processes to convert energy will improve and all of this will give you greater stamina and endurance.
27. Improves Your Ability to Burn Fat as Energy During Exercise
There is a fat-burning heart rate which is one of the importance of aerobic exercise. Cardio can put your heart rate in the fat-burning zone. As a result, the more your body burns fat as energy, the better it will become at burning fat.
28. Enhances Your Hormonal System
Aerobic exercise stimulates your body to produce many hormones that positively affects many systems and process of your body. As we already discusses this can help with lowering cholesterol, but it can also improve sexual health.
29. Enhances Your Neurological System
Many hormonal changes affect your nervous system, including some that act on specific areas of your brain. Through regular exercise, you should notice that your body has better control of pleasure and happiness. Additionally, some other enhancements you can have amplified alertness and IQ.
30. Improves Your Muscle Recovery
The more you exercise the better your body gets at recovery from exercise. Unless you continue to push your limits your body will recover from each exercise session more quickly. Specifically, your body will enhance the speed at which your muscles recover from the exercise.
31. Slows Down Your Aging Process
Maintaining aerobic fitness through middle age and beyond can delay biological aging by up to 12 years. Equally important, exercise can prolong independence living during old age (6).
32. Increases Cognitive Ability (Brain Power)
There are a lot of stereotypes out there about nerds and jocks. We don’t usually associate being fit with being smart, but there is actually a correlation. Aerobic exercise can boost cognitive processing, improve motor function and visual and auditory attention. As a result, exercise can make you smarter.
33. You Will Live Longer
Unless something tragic happens, exercise does increase your life expectancy. As a result, you should also be able to get cheaper life insurance.
34. Safe for all ages
Unlike resistance training such as weightlifting, aerobic exercise is much safer for both the elderly and children. Although weightlifting can also be done safely, many gyms will not let children into weight rooms, but they will let them attend aerobics classes.
35. Improves Your Quality of Life
This really doesn’t need much of an explanation, see benefits 1-34 and you will know that all of these can improve your quality of life.
The Importance of Aerobic Exercise To You
Hopefully, you have found some reasons why you should be doing aerobic exercise. Or maybe you are looking for some ammunition to convince someone else to exercise. Either way, you should check out our other articles on improving your aerobic fitness. Additionally, if you are looking for what type of aerobic exercise you should do look here.