How Cardio Exercise Can Improve Your Mental Health
If you're new to working out or returning to the gym after a long hiatus, it can be challenging to choose the right kind of exercise to begin with. Although it may take some trial and error to find the perfect match for your fitness level and goals, cardio is one of the best and most popular exercises you can try. Despite not being enjoyable for some people, it has a host of major health benefits.
Cardio exercise, which involves getting your heart pumping regularly, has physical and mental health benefits that few other activities can match. Some of the well-known benefits of cardio exercise include:
- Strengthening the heart muscle and lowering resting pulse.
- Lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin resistance for people
- Boosting mood and reducing depression and anxiety levels.
- Improving sleep quality by promoting deep (slow-wave) sleep.
- Enhancing cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the prefrontal cortex.
- Reducing the risk of Alzheimer's by improving memory.
- Easing arthritis pain by reducing joint inflammation.
- Improving lung function for people with respiratory issues.
- Boosting the immune system by promoting better circulation
While cardio exercise is a great way to stay healthy and feel good, it's important to keep a few things in mind:
- Warm up for at least 10 minutes before your workout to gradually increase blood flow to your muscles.
- Condition yourself gradually, working up to at least 30 minutes of cardio a day to develop your aerobic capacity.
- Cool down after each session to allow your heart rate and muscles to return to normal
Overall, cardio exercise is an excellent way to stay healthy and feel good about yourself. If you're new to working out, it's perfectly okay to start slow and work your way up. Remember, any movement is better than no movement.