Cardiovascular exercise can be a divisive topic in the fitness industry. There are many people who love it and have it as a daily habit, while others prefer resistance training. Others also like to do both, but many people don’t fully understand the importance of cardio and why it plays a big role in your progress.
The type of cardio you do is dependent on your preference and the time available to you. For example, those pressed for time will generally go for shorter, more intense workouts, while others with more time available will prefer lower-intensity forms of cardio that take longer but are not as demanding on your central nervous system (CNS).
So, what are the benefits of cardio? How can it have a positive impact on other areas of your life?
Higher Training Workload
One thing many people don’t link is the impact that improving your fitness has on your resistance training. If you are fitter, you are able to do more in your sessions, which could be the difference between building an average physique and the one you really want. It allows you to push those extra one or two reps that you could not do before, or do an extra exercise that helps improve a weaker part of your body. You will notice that the quality of your sessions goes up, which will make the process more enjoyable and deliver more progress towards your goal.
Another huge benefit that also relates to training lies within your recovery. When you are fitter, you will find that you need less rest time in between sets and exercises, which means that the intensity and quality of your session go up. Furthermore, this means that you are able to do more within your session, which can increase your chances of a better body shape. Recovery is one of the most important components of fat loss and body composition, so improving in this area is vital.
More Energy and Productivity
One of the worries people have when they aim to become more cardiovascularly fit is that it will drain their energy, but the reality is that it will increase your energy through boosting oxygen circulation inside your body. This supports the mitochondria’s energy production and allows your body to use its energy more efficiently. As a result, your productivity goes up, which means your work capacity is higher. If you are able to do more throughout the day, the chances of you becoming successful in the field you are in increases dramatically.
Perhaps an underrated area that people don’t look at when it comes to the benefits of cardio is health. 150 to 180 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week can play a huge role in a better quality of life for yourself. These include, better heart health and decreased resting heart rate, improved brain health as the heart consumes plenty of oxygen, more capillaries meaning better blood flow and oxygen to muscles, and a larger lung capacity, which increases your chances of achieving more throughout the day.
So, there are several benefits you can experience from improving your cardiovascular fitness. These include a higher training workload, better recovery, more energy and productivity, and numerous health improvements, particularly around the lungs and heart. All of these improvements can have a huge impact not only on your training and body shape but also how you feel on a daily basis. Don’t start at a hundred miles an hour, but make an effort to gradually include more cardio into your routine and you will notice some very positive results.
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