Incorporating Cardio Into Your Workout Routine
Any exercise can be beneficial to a weight loss and fitness program, but cardiovascular training burns more calories than weight training. If you’ve restricted your workouts to resistance and weight exercises alone, it’s time to step up your routine and boost your calorie burning with cardio.
Health Benefits of Cardio
One of the quickest benefits you’ll notice from regular cardio training is what’s called a runner’s high. When your heart rate increases and you begin to sweat, your brain sends a signal for your body to release “feel-good” chemicals like dopamine and endorphins to ease the pain. Additionally, your cardiorespiratory fitness increases when you incorporate cardio into your workouts, improving your heart and lung function. When these organs work more efficiently, you strengthen your body against heart disease and have more overall energy. Regular exercise can also reduce high blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and increase insulin sensitivity.
Fitness Benefits of Cardio
Combining cardio and weight training will help you maximize your weight loss and fitness results. Besides helping you lose weight, cardio exercise can increase your exercise tolerance, meaning you can get more out of your workouts and improve your body’s stamina and strength.
If you want to begin adding cardio to your workout, all you need to do is find activities that get your body moving and your heart pumping. Consider joining an organized sport like soccer or basketball, buying a bike to begin cycling, or simply going for a walk around the block. As your cardio fitness improves, try adding high-intensity interval training or running into your fitness program. As long as your heart rate increases, you are getting cardiovascular exercise, so there’s no need to dive in and push yourself too hard. Begin with what your body can handle without too much strain and build up gradually.