Cardio Exercise: How It Helps Your Heart's Health

It's one of the basic goals of exercise: keeping our hearts and cardiovascular systems in optimal health to avoid potential problems. Read this article to learn all about the benefits of cardio exercise. 
Cardio Exercise: How It Helps Your Heart's Health

Last update: 06 November, 2018

Cardio exercise offers a variety of general health benefits, especially in terms of your heart. In this article, we’ll tell you how cardio exercise can help your heart’s health. Get started today!

Cardio exercise and how it benefits the heart

A solid cardio routine and a balanced diet are essential to maintaining good health, both physically and emotionally. This is because cardiovascular exercise offers a wide range of benefits, from weight loss to stress reduction.

Staying in motion allows the heart to pump blood throughout the body more efficiently. People who work out regularly reduce the risks of suffering from cardiac problems and illnesses.

Woman jogging

To put things in scientific terms, cardiovascular exercise has a positive influence on the mitochondria. These are the cells responsible for producing energy for the whole body. They’re a key part of the adaptation of the heart muscle to meet the demands of the exercise.

For certain, the most important part of reaping the benefits of a cardio routine is consistency. If you want to get results, you need to maintain a regular practice.

Cardio – also known as aerobic exercise – is one of the best ways to achieve weight loss and to stay in shape. The benefits of a regular cardio routine include:

1. Improving circulation

Cardio is perfect for those suffering from varicose veins or edema as a result of spending too much time standing or sitting. It’s also recommended for those who always have cold hands or feet. Venous return is better when you practice aerobic activities.

2. Strengthening the heart

The heart is a muscle that requires exercise, just like the biceps or the calves. When we exercise, the heart has to make an effort to pump blood throughout the body. A cardio routine makes it increasingly stronger. As such, it will gain endurance for dealing with daily activities or exercising at the gym.

Woman clutching chest

When we exercise, the heart grows stronger, and the cardiac fiber of the myocardium (one of the tissues that covers it) increases. This makes pumping blood easier.

3. Controlling arterial pressure

Furthermore, when the heart pumps blood adequately, arterial pressure is balanced. For this reason, aerobic exercise is recommended for people with high blood pressure.

4. Reducing fat in the blood

When we eat unhealthily, the arteries accumulate fat in their walls. This prevents the proper passage of blood and can lead to cardiac arrest, among other problems. If we do cardio exercise, we can gradually reduce the cholesterol caused by an arterial blockage.

5. Losing weight

This relates closely to the health of your heart. When you are overweight, the muscle has to make a greater effort to pump blood. As such, by losing weight through exercise, we help our cardiovascular systems.

People working out at gym

6. Increasing the number of red blood cells

This facilitates the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. This way, we can avoid our extremities feeling numb or feeling cold, even in extreme temperatures.

What kind of cardio exercise is right for me?

Now that you know some of the health benefits of cardio, it’s time to choose the kind that allows you to reap those benefits. Don’t just abruptly begin cardio training though, this can cause pains and injuries.

The best approach is to start gradually and, at your own pace. Remember that doing something is much better than doing nothing. Listening to your body is the best way to know whether you’re on the right track or not. Decrease intensity, stop or change the activity if necessary.

What are the best options in terms of cardio exercise? You can move at a more accelerated pace than usual, or make the effort to go running in the park. Other alternatives include swimming, biking, tennis, badminton, and jumping rope. Aerobics and dancing are also good exercise options too.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.