We all know that cardiovascular exercise is super important. The American Heart Association tells us to get a minimum of 30 minutes per day to keep feeling young. And doctors tell us that cardio saves lives!
But what if there’s more to the story? What if getting that cardio in each day has more benefits that you ever realized?
A recent study published by Circulation, the Journal of The American Heart Association, says that cardio exercise may even be able to outsmart bad genetics. This means that even if you have a family history of heart disease or stroke, there is a way to fight against those genetic predispositions.
The study monitored almost half a million people in the United Kingdom between the ages of 40-69. Researchers tracked grip strength, physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. These measurements were then compared with a person’s genetic risk for heart episodes, such as heart disease and atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder.
The research showed that people with better cardio fitness reduced their risk of atrial fibrillation by 60%. Those same people reduced their risk of heart disease by 49%!
These are huge percentages when you are looking to avoid one of the leading causes of death among adults.
Russel Pate, professor at the University of South Carolina’s Department of Exercise Science, says, “The research demonstrated that physical activity and fitness were associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease across a continuum of persons.”
This means that you can help save yourself from heart disease, no matter your genetic risk, family history or personal history. While you can’t undo your genetics, you can outsmart them through regular cardio exercise.
Did you know that adding cardio to your day will not only save your feelings of youth, but will save your hard earned cash too?
A joint study performed by multiple colleges, including Baylor College of Medicine and the University of California San Francisco, looked at 26,000 adults in America to measure their exercise patterns and their history of cardiovascular disease.
This information was then compared to health care expenses over these same groups.
The study showed that individuals with cardiovascular disease, who got the recommended 30 minutes of activity a day, were able to save $2,500 annually on medical expenses.
The study says, “Even among high-risk groups, such as those diagnosed with heart disease or stroke, those who engaged in regular exercise activities reported a much lower risk of being hospitalized, an emergency room visit and the use of prescriptions.”
The savings aren’t limited to high-risk individuals either. Even those that did not suffer from cardiovascular disease were able to save an average of $500. This is due to all of the other benefits of cardio exercise, like reducing cholesterol and building joint and muscle strength.
Just think of all the things that you can do with $2500, and enjoy knowing that you’ll be physically able to do them.
The benefits of cardio aren’t limited to your heart and your bank account. In fact, cardio has benefits for your entire body, from top to bottom.
Brain – Cardio can actually make you feel smarter. It helps to improve your memory, your ability to think, and keeps your brain alert and functioning as you get older. Cardio even protects against the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Skin – Forget the scrubs and creams and facials! Cardio exercise increases circulation to your skin, leading to a clearer brighter complexion.
Lungs – When you exercise, you are forcing your lungs to build their capacity to do work. Through exercise, your lungs are able to do their job more effectively, allowing oxygen to be delivered to all areas of your body. This is especially important for people with chronic lung problems, as it will help relieve fatigue and shortness of breath.
Pancreas – While this little organ doesn’t always make headlines, it plays an important role in keeping you healthy. Most importantly, the pancreas produces insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels. This reduces your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
Bones & Joints – Performing regular cardio can relieve and prevent pain in your joints and bones. You’ll be fighting osteoporosis so you are less likely to suffer from debilitating fractures. It also helps relieve arthritis pain so that you can continue doing the things you love.
Mental Benefits – Cardio exercise can also help you mentally and emotionally, as well as physically. Exercise releases endorphins to give you energy. If you are feeling stressed, cardio releases serotonin and dopamine which combat your anxiety.
You’ll also find yourself getting a more restful night’s sleep when you are exercising regularly. You’ll be able to fall asleep more quickly and get the REM sleep that will leave you feeling ready to conquer the day. Remember to avoid exercise close to bedtime. Those endorphins will have you raring to go when you’re wanting to sleep.
As we can see, the benefits of cardio exercise are far-reaching: physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. Getting in your recommended 30 minutes a day is so important and so easy.
In fact, you don’t even need to leave the house to get all of these incredible benefits. As we enter Fall, and see Winter right around the corner, now is the perfect time to consider a treadmill or elliptical for your home.
Check out our Best Buy Ellipticals options to find the model that’s perfect for your body and your budget. Never miss out on all of the life-saving, money-savings benefits of having your cardio exercise available at your fingertips.
Associations of Fitness, Physical Activity, Strength, and Genetic Risk With Cardiovascular Disease: Circulation. Emmi Tikkanen, Stefan Gustafsson, Erik Ingelsson: 2018
Economic Impact of Moderate‐Vigorous Physical Activity Among Those With and Without Established Cardiovascular Disease: 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Javier Valero‐Elizondo, Joseph A. Salami, Chukwuemeka U. Osondu, Oluseye Ogunmoroti, Alejandro Arrieta, Erica S. Spatz, Adnan Younus, Jamal S. Rana, Salim S. Virani, Ron Blankstein, Michael J. Blaha, Emir Veledar, Khurram Nasir: 2016