What are the benefits of cardio?

If you are new to working out, it can be hard to decide what kind of exercises you should do. Choosing what exercises you’re going to enjoy and what’s going to help you achieve your goals can certainly be overwhelming. However, it may be worth considering cardio, which is one of the most popular types of exercise due to its numerous health and wellbeing benefits.

the benefits of exercise

Which exercises are cardio exercises?

When you think of cardio, your mind might automatically go to running, but that’s not your only option. There are a number of cardio activities you can do. These include: 

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Swimming 
  • Skipping
  • HIIT (high-intensity interval training) 

What are the benefits of cardio?

Weight loss and muscles: Want to slim down? Cardio is a great way to lose fat and burn through calories! While diet is more instrumental in weight loss, when paired with healthy and balanced nutrition, cardio can help you to reach your goals faster when it comes to shedding a few pounds. A quick cardio session can help you burn lots of calories and, as your muscles get stronger, you will also begin to build up your stamina and overall fitness.

Boosting energy: Cardio gives your energy levels a natural boost, which is much healthier than one you’d get from caffeine! Cardio exercise causes our body to release endorphins, which boost our energy levels and improve our moods making us feel more awake throughout the day.

Mental health: Cardio is great for your mental health. Not only does cardio release endorphins that make us feel good, but it also helps to tackle stress, depression and anxiety. Not only that, but cardio can also give your brainpower a boost and improve your productivity! 

Sleep: Cardio can help you get a better night’s sleep. Even if you only spend a short amount of time doing a cardio activity, you’re bound to feel the benefits at night! A workout in the day will help your mind feel refreshed and your body feel tired, ready for you to wind down and fall asleep at the end of the day. 

Your heart: The muscles in your legs aren’t the only muscles that get stronger during cardio – you’re also strengthening your heart! As you do this, your blood flow will improve, your risk of heart disease and strokes is reduced and your blood pressure will lower, too. 

Joints: Your joints can also reap the benefits of cardio. A short cardio workout can help to manage discomfort from arthritis, fight osteoporosis and build muscles around your joints to help keep them protected and strong. 

The benefits of cardio - final thoughts

Cardio is a great way to keep your body active and moving, your muscles and joints strong and your mind happy and healthy. It’s also one of the easiest exercises to perform, as you can go for as long or as little as you like, wherever you like. Whether it be outside, at the gym, or at home, it’s easy to fit in a cardio session and start feeling the benefits for yourself.