Do you find yourself winded from going up a flight of stairs? Grappling to keep up with the kids on the playground? If you answer yes, then you’re probably not doing enough cardio. Cardiovascular exercises (cardio) are essential for your overall health and stamina. When most of us think of cardio, we think of running miles non-stop until we get the oh familiar paralyzing side (stitch) cramp begging for this to be over. I’m here to tell you the benefits of cardio and how to incorporate it into your daily routine. I would like to share with you today what happens during your cardio workout, how properly to get your body ready to do so, and the benefits. 

One could say cardiovascular health is imperative to a long healthy life. Aside from losing and maintaining weight, cardio can improve your overall lung and heart performance. Just like any exercise, the harder you push, the greater the benefit. As you engage in vigorous physical activity, your muscles are doing a lot of work. And to continue at that pace, the body’s demand for oxygen escalates. As your heart rate increase so does your blood flow responsible for getting oxygen to the muscles and you’ll begin to take deeper breaths. This will ensure your muscles get adequate oxygen to continue on. 

Alright, now that your biology lesson is over let’s discuss working this into your daily routine. The Mayo Clinic recommends at least 30 minutes of cardio or aerobic activities most days of the week. Also recommends cardio for those who have hypertension, (high blood pressure) maintaining a healthy weight also your mental health. Most common activities include running, walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming. If you are someone who is in need of something more engaging you can do things like playing basketball, dancing even chorus around the house is a good way to be active and keep it interesting. If you’ve been out of the game for a while start off slow and with achievable goals. Keep in mind before you start any workout routine warm-up for at least 5-10 minutes to get the body ready to work hard. Then a cool down at the end to gradually bring down your heart rate and breathing. Don’t forget to stretch!

Cardio may not be your favorite exercise but it has so many benefits also it’s FREE! So get up grab your running shoes listen to your favorite tunes and hit the ground running!

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