The Benefits Of Cardiovascular Exercise
Most people realize that cardiovascular exercise, or aerobic exercise, can help efforts to lose weight. However, there are more benefits to be had with cardiovascular exercise. Some gerontologists even say that aerobic exercise is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill that we have. Many of the changes that are associated with aging can be stopped and even reversed with cardiovascular exercise. Some of these changes are loss of lean muscle mass, increased risk of heart disease and stroke and a lowered capacity to perform physical work.
There are also a number of benefits to be had by younger members of society. The following is a list of some of these benefits.
- Improved blood flow and cholesterol levels. Aerobic exercise has been shown to lower total cholesterol levels and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which is cholesterol you do not want. Cardiovascular exercise is also known to raise high density lipoproteins (HDL) levels, this is the good form of cholesterol. Blood levels of cholesterol drop an average of 24%.
- Lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack. People that do not perform aerobic exercise are twice as likely to experience a heart attack and die from coronary heart disease. A sedentary lifestyle is major risk factor of coronary heart disease, as well as smoking, hypertension, high blood cholesterol levels and obesity.
- Decreased blood pressure. Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to reduce blood pressure in as many as 66% of the individuals that perform it.
- Healthier blood vessels. Aerobic exercise helps improve the functioning of the endothelium, the specialized tissue that lines the inside of blood vessels. This may be linked to an improvement in the endothelium’s ability to produce nitric acid, which helps blood vessels relax and contract more efficiently. Improperly functioning endothelium is believed to be the underlying cause coronary artery disease.
- Lowered risk of blood clots. It has been found that cardiovascular exercise helps reduce the accumulation of blood platelets, whose natural function is to cause blood to clot when there is damage to the vascular system. Studies have also shown that men that exercise have increased blood flow and less constriction in their coronary arteries than their counterparts that do not exercise.
- Greater bone mass and lowered risk of osteoporosis.Aerobic exercise helps in maintaining bone health and decreases the likelihood of bone injury as a result of weakened bones.
- Helps manage weight and prevents obesity. The dangers to those already at risk for diabetes and hypertension are compounded by as little as five pounds of excess fat. Gallbladder disease, certain forms of cancer, osteoarthritis and increased rates of heart disease are other dangers that come with excess body fat.
- Enhanced athletic ability. Performance is enhanced by elevated levels of fat oxidation and reduced accumulation of lactic acid. Lactic acid is a by-product formed during the breakdown of glucose. Lactic acid causes muscle fatigue.
- Greater sense of well being, higher energy levels and more self-confidence. Increases in neurotransmitters, chemicals that allow cells to communicate with each other, such as serotonin and beta-endorphin play a part in this. Symptoms of depression can be improved with mild cardiovascular exercise, especially with those that suffer from chronic illnesses like coronary heart disease.
These and other benefits are to be found in aerobic exercise. Before beginning any exercise program, you should consult your doctor to avoid any potential dangers. Good health to you!