Car­dio key to suc­cess­ful ex­er­cise reg­i­men

The Covington News - - Health & Wellness - Metro Creative Ser­vices

When it comes time to lose weight, many peo­ple look to the nearby fit­ness cen­ter to help them shed those ex­tra pounds. When en­ter­ing a gym for the first time, new­com­ers are of­ten over­whelmed by the buzz of ac­tiv­ity and the clank­ing of weights cou­pled with the host of ma­chines they seem to know noth­ing about.

While an ini­tial foray into the gym can be in­tim­i­dat­ing, it’s im­por­tant to keep in mind that one of the best ways to lose weight is some­thing you’ve been do­ing al­most since the day you were born. Since the mo­ment you took your first step, you’ve been do­ing car­dio, or car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise. More widely re­ferred to as aer­o­bic ex­er­cise, car­dio has a num­ber of ben­e­fits, not the least of which is los­ing weight.

• Car­dio strength­ens bones. Os­teo­poro­sis is a bone dis­ease in which the bones be­come brit­tle and frag­ile due to tis­sue loss. This tis­sue loss can be the re­sult of age or de­fi­cien­cies in cal­cium or vi­ta­min D. A work­out that in­cludes jog­ging or even fast walk­ing can re­duce the risk of os­teo­poro­sis be­cause, as the Na­tional Os­teo­poro­sis Foun­da­tion (NOF) points out, th­ese weight-bear- ing ac­tiv­i­ties strengthen the skele­tal sys­tem. NOF also notes that any ex­er­cise in which feet or legs are bear­ing the weight, in­clud­ing danc­ing and climb­ing, are ef­fec­tive car­dio ex­er­cises.

• Car­dio re­duces body fat. In­clud­ing car­dio in your reg­u­lar ex­er­cise rou­tine helps to in­crease lean body tis­sue while re­duc­ing fat. If the goal of your weight loss is to look bet­ter, then in­clud­ing car­dio in your reg­u­lar rou­tine is a great way to achieve this. While this might sound sim­ple, the more calo­ries you burn, the more pounds you’ll lose, and car­dio has proven to be a great way to burn calo­ries.

• Car­dio can re­duce blood pres­sure. Many peo­ple choose to lose weight not be­cause of a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion, but be­cause their doc­tor (or their body) has told them they need to shed weight to sur­vive. For those with high blood pres­sure, car­dio has proven an ef­fec­tive way to lower blood pres­sure. A 2002 study at Tu­lane Uni­ver­sity found that aer­o­bic, or car­dio­vas­cu­lar, ex­er­cise low­ered blood pres­sure in all groups of peo­ple, whether they had pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions or had nor­mal blood pres­sure.

• Car­dio can help re­lieve the pain of arthri­tis. A car­dio­vas­cu­lar pro­gram that in­cludes wa­ter ex­er­cise can be es­pe­cially valu­able to arthri­tis suf­fer­ers. Such ex­er­cise can help keep the joints mov­ing while strength­en­ing the mus­cles around the joints. In ad­di­tion, car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise in­creases en­ergy lev­els, which helps arthri­tis suf­fer­ers bet­ter han­dle some the daily tasks that have be­come dif­fi­cult as a re­sult of the arthri­tis.

Metro Creative Ser­vices

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