We are on a Happy “Whole” Heart journey and there is so much great news to explore! If cardio is something you know you should do, whether you “just do it” or can’t do it, you are in for a surprise! Today I share some very cool facts about cardiovascular exercise. But first, a word of caution.
As highlighted in the first blog of this series, my goal is to inspire confidence, not guilt. As you read, if you feel guilty for not doing cardio for whatever reason, take a breath. This is not just one of those “do it because it’s good for you” or “here’s what could happen if you don’t do it” motivational blogs. Cardio that works with how your body and brain are designed boosts your energy and your motivation. When cardio leaves you feeling better physically and mentally, you are getting the “whole” heart health benefits. So if guilt or doubt starts to creep in, know that I won’t leave you hanging on to guilt or fear as a motivator!
Cardio prevents heart disease.
- Regular cardio leads to a 42%-44% reduction in the risk of developing heart disease.
- Even people who got fit later in life reduced heart disease and cardiac deaths by 44%-52%, despite changes in body weight.
Cardio protects even if you have heart disease.
- It reduces the risk of dying from the disease.
- It reduces the number of times you are admitted to the hospital.
- Cardio improves prognosis after a heart event.
- The benefits are greater than those seen from medications alone.
Cardio protects even if you have risk factors.
- Protection is seen even in people with hypertension, obesity, type two diabetes.
- People with risk factors who are fit have a better prognosis than people who are not fit with no risk factors.
If you are at high risk with lots of risk factors, one of the absolute best ways to lower your risk is to improve cardiovascular fitness.*
* Source: Exercise and the Cardiovascular System. Lavie, C, et. al. Circulation Research (American Heart Association Journal) July 2, 2015.