Ah, cardio. Cardio is one of the most divisive forms of exercise. Some people love breaking out into a sweat, with their calves burning and their heart pumping. Others look at the treadmill, break out into cold sweats, and have nightmarish thoughts throughout the evening! Regardless, cardio is one of the most important forms of exercise and is essential to long-lasting health.
What Even Is Cardio?
We all have an idea of what cardio looks and feels like, but what does it really mean? “Cardio” actually refers to aerobic exercise. Aerobic technically means “with oxygen,” meaning that your breathing controls the amount of oxygen that makes its way to your muscles to help them use fuel and move.
Basically, cardio workouts are types of exercise where your heart rate and breathing increase, but not to the point where you need to rest or take a break. Aerobic and cardio exercise increases the efficiency of your heart and makes it capable of moving more oxygen.
Types of Cardio
There are more types of cardio than the dreaded treadmill. Aerobic exercises include speed walking, rowing machines, cycling, swimming, jumping rope, jumping jacks, and more. With so many options, you’re sure to find an aerobic exercise that doesn’t send chills down your spine.
It’s best to start small and gradually increase your effort if you’re just starting out. Many people throughout Silverlake have improved their cardio by simply walking more throughout their day. Don’t feel pressured to start a morning jog routine if you fear the treadmill or hate the idea of walking. You can try other forms that suit your preference.
Regardless of how you start or the method you choose, aerobic exercise can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve immune function, lower blood pressure, and more.
Improve Your Mental Health
Mental health concerns are on the rise with the COVID-19 Pandemic, anxiety-inducing news stories, and the stressors of daily life. Aerobic exercises are one of the easiest ways to improve your mental health and combat these issues.
One study found that individuals who regularly exercised had about 1.5 days fewer low-quality mental health days comparatively. Other studies have found that regular aerobic exercise can improve self-esteem, anxiety, and sleep. You can quickly improve the quality of your life by including a few extra cardio sessions in your week.
Improve Cognitive Function
We’ve all experienced brain fog at some point or another. Brain fog is the worst; you’re sitting at your desk, trying to work, and you just can’t seem to concentrate! Regular cardiovascular exercise might be one of the keys to resolving these issues.
Studies have found that aerobic exercise can improve cognitive function in adults as young as 20 and as old as 67! The study found an increase in executive function, reasoning, planning, and problem-solving. Going for a job might be the best answer if you’re looking to boost your productivity or problem-solving skills.
Keep it Moving, Silver Lake!
Regular cardiovascular exercises are crucial for preventing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health consequences. But regular aerobic exercise can also improve your mental health, self-esteem, and cognitive function. You don’t have to hop on the treadmill if you don’t want to. But going for more walks, swimming, or jumping rope is a great way to improve the quality of your life. Keep it pushing Silver Lake!