Benefits of Cardio Training

Cardio training or endurance exercise or aerobic exercise,running is a well known form of fitness training. Cardio training is characterized by movement by large muscle groups for prolonged periods of time resulting in an elevated heart rate and breathing frequency. Examples of aerobic exercise are jogging, cycling, or use of a stationary cardiofitness machine, such as a crosstrainer or stairmaster.

Cardio training is often mostly aerobic and primarily differs from anaerobic exercise in exercise intensity. Although strength training is a form of anaerobic exercise, the term is mostly used to describe higher intensity cardiotraining performed with the same activities as aerobic exercise.

Cardio training has been a popular cornerstone in fitness training for decades. It is therefore a well researched training method and has many advantages for those that perform it regularly.

  1. It improves endurance: Cardio training increases endurance by enhancing maximal oxygen consumption, lactate threshold, glycogen stores, fat metabolism, heart stroke volume, red blood cell count and movement economy. This makes it easier to perform many everyday activities such as walking and cycling.
  2. It helps weight loss: People seeking to lose weight in a healthy manner would do well to perform cardio training. Of course the caloric expenditure will result in fat loss and improve body composition. In addition, the improvements in metabolism that result from aerobic exercise of sufficient intensity, will give the body an easier time burning fat during all activities rather than blood glucose and glycogen. Not only will this result in easier fat loss, but it will help in maintaining these results as well.
  3. It improves blood pressure: By regularly stressing the walls of blood vessels by pumping large amounts of blood through them, the quality of the arterial walls increases, resulting in a lower blood pressure.
  4. It decreases risk on cardiovascular disease: By strengthening the heart and improving quality of the blood vessels, the risk on developing heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases decreases markedly.
  5. It decreases risk on metabolic disorders and diseases: Metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus type 2 are characterized by disorders in glucose and/or fat metabolism. Cardio training helps the body use these nutrients and may slow down progression of these conditions or even reverse them.
  6. It decreases osteoporosis: Bone tissue, like muscle tissue, is constanly remodelled. As we age, quality and density of our bones often decreases as a result of increasing inactivity. Regular cardio training that stresses the bones, will slow down or even reverse the development of osteoporosis. Good examples of these are running and cycling.