10 Interesting Facts About Cardiovascular Exercise
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10 Interesting Facts About Cardiovascular Exercise

10 Interesting Facts About Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise should be a central component of any workout regime, because of the incredible benefits that it brings.

It will improve the health of your cardiovascular system dramatically, increasing your endurance, boosting lung capacity, making your heart stronger and providing a multitude of other health benefits.

In this post, I’m going to highlight a few of the additional benefits of cardio. 

#1 – Improves Brain Health

Although most people associate cardiovascular exercise with improvements to their physical fitness, it also has a dramatic impact on the health of the brain.

As you exercise, your heart rate increases, which promotes the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the brain.

This has been found to stimulate the production of certain hormones which improve brain cell growth.

Researchers have also found that exercise promote positive changes in brain structure, reduces oxidative stress, and boosts the performance of the hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning). 

#2 – Makes You Feel Happier

Researchers have discovered that exercise is one of the best ways to improve a person’s mood and relieve feelings of anxiety or depression.

It works by producing changes in the parts of the brain that are responsible for stress and anxiety.

Exercise also prompts the release of “feel good” hormones like serotonin and endorphins, which can relieve feelings of depression and elevate your mood. 

#3 – Helps You Get A Better Night’s Sleep

The energy depletion caused by cardiovascular exercise makes it much easier to get to sleep.

Researchers have discovered that people can experience a 65% improvement in sleep quality when they manage to complete 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigourous exercise each week.

Exercise can even help cure sleep disorders like insomnia.

One study found that people with insomnia who exercised regularly for 16 weeks began to see a reduction in their symptoms.

The participants of that particular study also discovered that they had more energy throughout the day. 

#4 – Essential For Good Heart Health

The American Heart Association says that regular cardiovascular exercise is an important part of maintaining good heart health.

It reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering the amount of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood.

It also increases “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. 

#5 – Can Reduce Chronic Pain

In years past, doctors would often recommend bed rest to recover from health issues that cause chronic pain, like back problems and joint problems.

Researchers have now realised that exercise can actually be useful for dealing with these conditions and for reducing chronic pain.

Several studies have found that light to moderate exercise is the most effective for pain reduction.

#6 – Exercise slows cell ageing

Want to live longer?

Exercise more.

Cardiovascular exercise has been found to slow cell ageing in the body’s chromosomes.

Scientists have discovered that exercise affects “Telomeres” which are the caps at the end of chromosomes that are responsible for ageing.

As the body ages, the telomeres naturally become shorter.

However, exercise has been found to lengthen telomeres, slowing the ageing process.

Although cardiovascular exercise doesn’t guarantee a longer life, it certainly improves the odds.

#7 – Cardio helps to regulate the body’s blood sugar levels

As you exercise, your muscles will begin to use more energy.

They initially obtain their energy from adenosine triphosphate (ATP), contained inside each muscle.

However, this is a very limited source of energy that your muscles quickly burn through. 

More ATP can be created from creatine phosphate (CP) and muscle glycogen.

As you continue to exercise, the body will turn to other glycogen stores, including those in the blood and liver. 

Repeating this process regularly helps your body develop well-regulated blood sugar and inulin levels.

This reduces the risk of several diseases including diabetes and obesity. 

#8 – Can Improve Your Posture

Most people begin to suffer from poor posture as they age.

This is usually a result of bone density changes and muscle loss.

You can counteract this process with cardiovascular exercise and strength training.

Both forms of exercise will build muscle and help you naturally stand taller.

This can make you look much younger and help you avoid chronic health issues associated with poor posture. 

#9 – Give You Great Skin

Researchers from the McMaster University in Ontario looked at the effects of exercise on the skin.

They found that 40 year olds who exercised regularly had skin that was as supple as people in their 20’s and 30’s.

The researchers suspect that exercise creates compounds that slow skin ageing. 

#10 – Improved Bone Health and Strength

Cardiovascular and strength building exercises are both effective at improving bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

They also stimulate muscle building by releasing hormones and improving the ability of muscles to take in amino acids.

 Thanks for reading!

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Stephen Coleclough
Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a personal trainer and online fitness/nutrition coach from the UK. He loves heavy squats, smashing PRs and bacon sandwiches. You can follow him on Twitter at ColecloughPT.

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