What Happens to Your Body When You Do Cardio

Cardio is about more than just weight loss.

Woman cycling for her cardio workout.

You’re ready to get in shape and want to give cardio workouts a go. Most people know that they can burn a lot of calories with cardio, but did you know there are other health benefits to this type of exercise, too?

Here are a few of them:

You burn fat

Cardio that gets your heart pumping and your brow sweating can help support your fitness goals by burning fat. To get the best results according to studies is to combine cardio with strength training.

You protect your mental health

Doing 30 minutes of cardio every day can do loads for your mental health. Not only will you get better sleep, your brain will release endorphins that can boost your mood and reduce stress. This, in turn, can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

You boost your brain

Cardio is all about delivering more oxygen throughout your body—especially to your brain. This effect can help reduce your brain’s stress response, stimulate new connections between brain cells, lower your risk for memory loss and diseases like dementia, and help you focus on the current moment.

You tend your ticker

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Thankfully, taking care of your heart doesn’t have to be complicated. Getting at least 150 minutes of exercise each week has been proven to improve blood pressure and lower the risk for heart disease.

Related: Why Weight Lifting Is Good for Heart Health

Cardio is a great workout that gets your heart rate up, and you only need about ten minutes of cardio exercise each session to make a difference. So, start off slow as you build up your stamina and work toward longer workout periods.

Before starting your exercise journey, take note of the activities you love to do. Do you enjoy cycling? Running? Walking? Maybe swimming? These can be great cardio workouts.

Taking care of your body and getting regular exercise doesn’t have to be tedious or complicated. In fact, going on a leisurely walk, bike ride, or even gardening can count as moderately intense exercise, which can be the gateway to all these glorious benefits of cardio.

Related: Diet vs. Exercise: Which is More Effective?

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