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Your resource of health knowledge, tips and facts for a healthier lifestyle

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Is Cardio the Most Important Exercise?

a lady and man are running happily on the treadmill doing a cardio workout

The most effective fitness programs have a lot of moving parts. Experts agree that combining strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and a balanced diet delivers optimal results. Cardio is the most effective workout to get a significant calorie burn, and strength training develops muscles and increases metabolic rate. This means that the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn. In addition, cardio workouts and strength training can offer excellent physical and mental health benefits.

Research shows that consistency is directly linked to a person’s level of enjoyment. This means that you have to find activities that you like doing if you want to experience sustained weight loss. When deciding on a workout regimen, it’s essential to experiment with different activities to find what works for you. Some people enjoy exercising alone, while others thrive in a group environment where some level of accountability and competition is required. Group fitness classes like spinning, Zumba, and aerobics are popular activities among all age groups. Running clubs and CrossFit are practical options that provide community and support while providing socialization. Strength training can include free weights, resistance training, machines, and strength-building body weight exercises that require little to no equipment.

The Amazing Health Benefits Of Cardio Workouts

There’s a bevy of benefits from cardio workouts. Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. This can look like 30 minutes of cardio for the average person five days a week. Committing to cardio workout consistently offers short and long-term benefits:

1: Improved Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular exercise strengthens your heart and helps it pump blood throughout the body more efficiently. Cardio helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It also helps to regulate blood sugar by controlling insulin levels.

2: Improved Sleep

Studies show that moderate aerobic exercise during waking hours increases the slow wave sleep you get at night. The brain and body get a chance to rest during slow wave sleep, also known as restorative sleep.

3: Regulated Weight

To lose weight, you must be at a caloric deficit. Cardio workouts deliver a significant calorie burn. Examples of activities that can ramp up heart rate include jogging, swimming, cycling, or HIIT.

4: Mood

Studies show that cardiovascular exercise also improves your mood. Exercise increases the release of endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline. These brain chemicals create euphoric, or happy feelings, and may even decrease feelings of anxiety and depression.

5: Other Benefits

Other takeaways from getting your recommended dose of cardio each week include improved cognitive function, which also aids sleep. Improve muscle function also comes with a reduction in chronic pain. Cardio also increases specific antibodies called immunoglobulins, resulting in stronger immunity.

Cardio Workouts At Home Can Simplify Your Fitness Regimen

You can exercise anywhere—indoors or out. It can be done at a gym, a park, or home. Combining strength training and cardio workouts at home effectively helps with reaching your fitness goals. If you have conditions that impede your ability to perform high-intensity exercises, low-impact cardio delivers results, as well. Always check with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program.

While cardio and strength training are key factors in a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet with proper portion control plays an important role, too. Z.E.N. Foods is here when you are ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Our Z.E.N consultants consider your lifestyle, age, and activity level when setting up a customized plan just for you. So whether it’s a meal plan or juice cleanse, we can help!

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