Why Cardio-Fitness Is Important
Enjoying good aerobic conditioning is important because good endurance is essential to having a high quality of life. For example, when you're aerobically fit, you can easily walk up a flight of stairs, you have energy to accomplish daily tasks such as shopping and cleaning, you can enjoy leisure activities such as traveling, sightseeing, and hiking in nature, and you can have fun playing recreational games and sports. If you're planning an active vacation for your honeymoon, it will be all the more enjoyable if you're in good aerobic shape.
In addition to increasing your stamina, if you regularly participate in moderate aerobic activities you will receive many benefits, including the following:
Lose weight or keep weight at its ideal level
Reduce body fat
Keep healthy joints
Maintain bone density
Improve depth and quality of sleep
Increase feelings of confidence and self-esteem
Reduce blood pressure
Lower total cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels
Lower disease risks
With all of these benefits, you have many good reasons to get started with your cardio-training program as soon as possible.
Conditioning Your Heart and Lungs
When you exercise aerobically, you specifically condition your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. The ultimate result is a body that works more efficiently at all times, not just when you're exercising. Studies show that after two to ten weeks of consistent training, the heart muscle itself increases in size, resulting in a stronger heart that pumps more blood with each heart beat. Consequently, the heart rate, also referred to as the pulse, is lowered. The volume of blood increases, as well as the amount of hemoglobin that enables the blood to carry more oxygen to working muscles. Regular training also leads to improvements in circulation as more capillaries develop to deliver blood to muscles.
Looking for a fun way to kill two birds with one stone in your quest for wedding-planning efficiency? Consider taking dance classes with your fiancé. You'll both get a great cardio workout, and you'll wow everyone at your wedding when you step out at the reception for your first dance.
Regular training improves the body's ability to oxygenate the blood. As the lungs become stronger, they can draw in more air. Another important adaptation to consistent aerobic training is an increase of blood flow to the lungs accompanied by an increase in the amount of lung tissue that can extract oxygen from the air. The net result is that more air is inhaled, more blood is pumped into the lungs, and more oxygen is absorbed into the blood for delivery throughout the body.
Improving Body Composition
Aerobic training is the primary catalyst for reducing your percentage of overall body fat, leading to a better body composition. At the same time that training improves the development of the circulatory system, it also enhances the metabolic system by enabling the body to become more efficient at burning fat for fuel. Studies show that this adaptation can occur after only several weeks of consistent training. The good news is that studies also show that it's not necessary to work at high levels of intensity to become a more efficient fat burner. People have been able to successfully lose fat through short bouts — as little as ten minutes at a time — of cumulative moderate activity.
Other important metabolic changes that come with aerobic training include the more efficient use of sugars circulating in the bloodstream. This is the result of an increased sensitivity to and responsiveness to insulin. Insulin is the key for working muscles to be able to use the sugars circulating in the blood for energy. If you use up the sugars in your bloodstream, they do not end up being converted to fat and stored on your body.
Improve Mood and Well-Being
All forms of exercise, and cardiovascular exercise in particular, improve your mood, increase your feelings of well-being and help to reduce tension and stress. So many studies support the value of exercise for mood improvement that doctors are now recommending exercise as part of a strategy to help or prevent depression. Planning your wedding and getting ready for your married life are among life's most stressful events. Doing regular aerobic exercise will go a long way toward helping you manage this stress and feel good about yourself in the process.