Cardiovascular fitness is sometimes misunderstood, due largely to the fact that cardiovascular health can be achieved in so many diverse ways, and can provide a huge range of benefits. Cardiovascular fitness is not only essential for a healthy, long life, but can afford many very worthwhile advantages that benefit everyday living, working, and even sleeping.
The concept of cardiovascular fitness refers to the combined abilities of the lungs to oxygenate the blood effectively, and the heart to pump the oxygenated blood to all parts of the body efficiently. By strengthening the heart, which is after all a muscle, and improving the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, a range of health benefits and physical benefits will become evident, leading to a longer, healthier life.
Why is Cardiovascular Fitness Important
Cardiovascular exercise provides many direct and indirect health benefits – but not just physical benefits. Cardiovascular workouts help to release natural endorphins which can make you feel great, and simply exercising in this way can increase your energy level, helping you work harder and for a longer time, and sleep better at night too.
Cardiovascular exercise routines will help to increase your body’s natural immune system, improving your ability to fight infections. As well as helping you to have an increased level of energy you will also benefit from a higher rate of stamina, allowing you to keep going through even the toughest day without having to keep stopping for rests. It has also been shown that cardiovascular routines performed regularly are very successful way of helping to combat and deal with stress – a major health risk for many people.
How To Improve Cardiovascular Fitness
Many people labor under the myth that cardiovascular fitness is all about sitting on a machine for hours on end pedaling nowhere. This is true, although many people do enjoy using cardiovascular machines such as exercise bikes, treadmills or stepping machines. However, cardiovascular exercise is really any activity which increases your heart rate efficiently.
Depending on your age, and current level of fitness it is possible to calculate your optimum heart rate for physical exercise. Whether running, cycling, going up and down stairs, using a machine, skipping or even just playing football with the children, if it increases your heart rate for at least 20 minutes, you will be benefiting in so many ways.
The Benefits Of Cardiovascular Fitness
As well as helping to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and increase bone density and strength, cardiovascular fitness ensures a lower risk of heart disease, can decrease the risks of some cancers, and helps beat depression and anxiety. Not only that, but as a way of losing weight, when coupled with a balanced diet, it is a great way to stay in shape and look as great as you feel.
It is also worth noting that cardiovascular fitness helps to improve your metabolism, making it much more efficient. This means that your body is able to process food more efficiently, helping you to start to burn calories sooner, and quicker, making the whole process of improving your level of cardiovascular fitness and health easier and more enjoyable.