"MOVE YOUR BODY AND YOUR HEART WILL FOLLOW" - Lululemon Manifesto
Cardiovascular workouts are also known as "aerobic" exercise. (Ignore the flashbacks of neon-colored spandex and Jane Fonda fitness videos!). This term is broad and refers to much more than a step-class. Aerobic exercise applies to physical activity during which the body relies on oxygen to help produce energy. Muscles like the heart and lungs work hard to transport and deliver oxygen to the body during exercise, which makes them stronger and more efficient!
Many types of common activities and sports fall into this category of fitness. Check out this link (courtesy of Self Magazine) for a list of high intensity cardiovascular workouts aimed to fight boredom and maximize health gains.
Top 5 Reasons to Incorporate Cardio Exercise into Your Routine:
1. Reduce Body Fat. When your heart rate is elevated, your body works harder (i.e. burns more energy/calories) to keep you going. This is an integral factor of weight loss or weight maintenance, and helps reduce overall body fat.
2. Improve Mood. A consistent exercise routine that incorporates cardio and strength training has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and/or depression, improve mood, cognitive focus, and sleep.
3. Avoid Illness. Aerobic exercise stimulates the immune system, which puts the body at a lower risk of infection.
4. Reduce Health Risks. Cardiovascular fitness isn't just essential for heart-health, it has been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
5. Age Well. Studies show that active individuals maintain their independence as they age, keep their minds sharp, and minimize the risk of cognitive decline. Regular exercisers live longer than those who are sedentary throughout life.
Note: If you're starting a new workout routine, give yourself time to adjust. Start slowly and build up endurance over time. If you feel faint, dizzy, or sick while working out, stop exercising immediately and talk to your doctor.