3 Great Reasons to Add Cardio to Your Exercise Routine

Cardiorespiratory Capacity can be defined as the body’s ability to take in oxygen, distribute it to the cells and effectively use it to create energy. This component of fitness is all about the health of the heart and improved cardiorespiratory function, which could reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Its positive effects include improved endurance and respiratory capacity. These exercises basically increase the heart rate to help you conduct challenging tasks.

One indicator of improved cardiovascular fitness is a lower resting heart rate.

Exercises to improve this area: Anything that raises your heart rate!

Power walking, Dancing, Jogging, Skipping, Basketball, Tennis, Hiking, Rowing, Kickboxing, Swimming, Stair Climbing...

Improving this area of fitness will help you conduct challenging tasks such as running after your toddler who is rushing headlong into danger, running out of a burning building or away, quickly climbing several flights of stairs to your hotel room, playing sports, going on a gorgeous mountain hike, catching the bus or a flight or walking your dog.

Some Reasons to add Cardio to Your Exercise Routine:

1. Cardio increases your potential to burn fat. A single 30 minute session of cardio, performed with varying levels of intensity can burn hundreds of extra calories during the session and even several hours post workout. There is some crazy scientific explanation of how your mitochondria expand in size and number, and will eventually cause your body to rely more on burning fat than using carbohydrates.

2. Cardio increases muscular endurance. Ever had that intense lactic acid burn in your muscles? Especially when you were new to exercise or you tried a brand new activity? Ouch! When you strength train, your body converts glucose (sugar) into ATP, lactic acid quickly builds up in your muscles and, after a while, your body can't flush it out fast enough which results in that incredible burning sensation. Once the lactic acid build-up goes too far, you can't train anymore. As you keep working on your cardio endurance, your muscles become more efficient at delivering oxygen to your working muscles. This will raise your lactic threshold (the point where there is more lactic acid in your muscles than your body can deal with). The result is the you will be able to weight train, and do other cardio activities, at increasingly higher levels of intensity. Yes!

3. Cardio improves muscular repair. Cardio, or aerobic exercise, aids in expanding your network of capillaries- the tiny blood vessels that allow nutrients to be absorbed into your body's tissues. The greater the network, the more efficient your body becomes at using these nutrients to repair your muscles. When you strength train (or resistance train) you place microscopic tears in your muscles than heal and create larger, stronger muscles. The faster this healing takes place, the more your improve and progress in your workouts!

Good Stuff!

What is your cardio of choice?
Do you prefer cardiovascular activities or resistance training?

Coach Edie