There are numerous benefits from cardio workouts, short for cardiovascular workouts. Cardio workouts are one of the best ways to improve not just physical fitness, but feelings of well-being over the entire body. One of the main benefits of cardiovascular workouts is weight loss; it is necessary to increase the heart rate to burn calories and promote weight loss.
Experts are divided about the necessary frequency of a cardio workout. Most recommend working out for between three and five days per week, from 20 to 45 minutes per session. For those simply looking to increase their level of physical fitness, or maintain their good health, three days a week for 20 to 30 minutes a day is likely sufficient. For those who want to lose weight, however, it may be necessary to work out for five days a week for 30 to 45 minutes per session. With either method, it is best to start slowly, and to realistically assess one's present level of physical fitness.
Because cardio workouts are such an effective weight-loss technique, they have other benefits related to weight loss as well. These include improving blood pressure, cholesterol, and preventing heart disease and diabetes. The workouts increase endurance of the heart and lungs, and make the resting heart rate slower. They may also reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Cardio workouts can help to prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density.
In addition to the physical benefits to the body, cardio workouts provide mental benefits as well. Those who exercise regularly often experience less stress and anxiety, and they often sleep better at night. Regular exercisers often have more energy throughout the day. In addition, even moderate exercise can reduce depression as well as increase self confidence.
Another benefit to cardio workouts is the variation available. One can choose to do any cardio workout they like, as long as it gets the heart rate up. This may mean simple exercises such as brisk walking, hiking, jogging, running, using an elliptical machine or stationary bike, or swimming. Watching an aerobic video or taking part in a aerobics, spinning, or dance class at a gym are other effective cardio workouts.
In fact, varying the type of workout performed each day is an effective way to lose weight and get in shape, because each workout will use different muscle groups. A cardio workout is something that members of a family can do together, to have fun, get healthy, and increase the amount of time spent together. Remember to warm up and cool down before and after each workout, and to drink water throughout to prevent dehydration.