Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 7 out of every 10 deaths in the U.S. result from chronic diseases. The CDC also says that these chronic diseases are largely preventable with a healthy lifestyle and exercise. A big part of exercise is aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA, the fitness industry’s global trade association), the physical benefits of cardiovascular exercise include that it:
- Strengthens the heart;
- Reduces blood fat, including low density lipids (LDL);
- Increases protective high density lipids (HDL);
- Possibly reduces blood pressure;
- Decreases chance of adult onset diabetes;
- Reduces cancer risk;
- Boosts the immune system;
- Possibly prevents the forms of bone loss which accompany aging;
- Keeps joints flexible;
- Builds and preserves muscle strength;
- Promotes fat loss; and
- Reduces the amount of insulin diabetics need to use.
The IHRSA also says that the mental benefits of cardiovascular fitness include that it:
- Enhances sleep;
- Reduces some stress symptoms;
- Increases enjoyment of leisure activities;
- Improves quality of life; and
- Improves appearance and self-image.
As Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chairman, President’s Council on Physical fitness and Sports, 1991 has said, "Physically fit people generally live longer, perform better, and get more out of life."'
By Robert Braun