Simply put, the human body is made to move. If you don’t get much exercise now, take a moment and think about how your body feels at the end of the day. Do your muscles ache? Do they feel tight? Do you feel exhausted? If so, then you might be inclined to change your routine and make exercise a bigger part of your life. But with all of the opinions, tips, and tricks that you can read about exercise, it can be hard to know which type is best for you.
Cardio workouts are a popular type of exercise, and while many people mistakenly believe that weight loss is the primary benefit of cardio workouts, they actually offer a host of other benefits, including:
- Stronger and healthier heart and lungs
- Increased bone mass and density
- Reduced levels of stress
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer
- Temporary relief from anxiety and depression
- More confidence in how one looks and feels
- Increased levels of energy
- Better sleep
If weight loss is your primary focus, then cardio exercises are a great way to start getting in shape. However, they shouldn’t be the only type of exercise you get. In fact, if you repeat the same cardio workouts regularly, your body will begin to adjust to them and you may notice a diminishing return on your exercise investment. This can be dangerous if you’re new to exercising because it may discourage you from continuing to try new options. Often, people see quick results from their cardio workouts, but once the results are less noticeable, they get frustrated and abandon their exercise routine altogether.
While cardio is a valuable tool for weight loss, it certainly isn’t the only type of exercise that you should incorporate into your daily or weekly routine. It’s best to combine cardio workouts with other types of exercise, such as high interval intensity training (HIIT), which involves short bursts of high intensity exercises followed by brief periods of rest and recovery.
So, is cardio king? No. Using a similar analogy, it is perhaps better to think of cardio as a member of a larger governing body. Alone, it can do some good, but when combined with other forces, it can help you achieve greatness.