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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.

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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."'

 

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