The Benefits of Cardio are Life-Changing

Benefits of Cardio

The benefits of cardio exercise cannot be overstated.  Cardio is one of the 3 pillars of any overall fitness plan, along with stretching and resistance training.  Regular cardio workouts can become a habit and way of life for you, just as the absence of cardio is also a habit…a bad habit!

The Benefits of CardioA full 80% of Americans do not get the recommended exercise, which means only a slim 20% do! So that stat alone should be enough to get you moving.

Once you take the first step to making cardio a part of your daily or weekly routine, it will soon become habit…good habit. This might take about 6 weeks for it to touch your soul.

After 6 weeks, though, you will see (and feel) so many benefits in who you are, how you feel, how you look, and more, that you will look forward to your workouts.

Table of Contents

Main Takeaways

  • Make cardio a part of your daily routine in order to see results.

  • There are many benefits of cardio, the most notable being your improved cardiovascular health.

  • Daily cardio benefits nearly aspect of your body: weight control, blood flow, heart health, lung health, and more.

Making Cardio a Habit

When you start to really “taste” those results, it will get in your blood.  And confidence breeds confidence. Belief breeds belief. It builds from there, like a runaway train.

This does not mean you will always enjoy the workouts. But once you develop cardio as part of your daily routine, then you will start to feel healthier and the success becomes self-perpetuating.

And yes, that is the key, to do cardio daily! Not every cardio routine needs to be intense and draining. Some workouts can be light and even relaxing, such as a fast walk through the neighborhood. But the key is some sort of motion each and every day.

If you are already a cardio pro, there are many variations on this site that venture beyond what most people see as everyday cardio.

Benefits of Cardio

The benefits of cardio cover nearly every aspect of your life:

Jogging for Health and WellnessCirculation

You will have better circulation if you are on a consistent cardio routine.  Your heart will become stronger and more efficient, thus improving your circulation.

Improved Heart Health

The benefits of cardio are no more apparent than with your heart health.  The more this all-important muscle is put to work, the stronger and more efficient it will become.  This becomes very apparent during cardio exercise when you see progressive improvements in your cardio heart rate. (1)

Healthy Weight

Cardio, along with a nutritious and balanced diet, is a key to maintaining your healthy weight.  Two-thirds (2/3) of all Americans are overweight or obese, and there are a host of health problems connected to this statistic.  Achieving a healthy weight is step #1 to good overall health.

Cardio exercise also contributes to fat loss because it speeds up your metabolism.  So not only are you burning calories during your workout, but your metabolism will be stepped up for several hours after exercise.

Better Sleep With Cardio

It is well documented that exercise is a great antidote for stress.  A related benefit is that cardio serves to relax your mind and body, and therefore improves your sleep.  It also makes sense that if you exert yourself in exercise during the day, your muscles will be relaxed and more tired at night.

Blood Pressure

Cardio Heart BenefitsRegular cardio can dramatically improve your blood pressure. It is common for someone’s blood pressure to improve from 145/88 to 120/80 in the course of 6 months as a result of cardio and improved diet. 

You will see weekly improvements in your blood pressure as you work your cardio routines. Wow…what a relief to see improved blood pressure.

Improved Lung Function

Cardio workouts do not increase lung capacity, but they do improve the effectiveness of the lungs and their ability to process oxygen from the air you breathe to the blood pumped from the heart.

Cardio Benefits Include Reduced Stress

Regular cardio releases endorphins, which reduce stress and anxiety (hormonal improvements).

Reduces Risk of Disease

The risk of heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diseases is reduced significantly with regular cardio exercise. Here is more info on how cardio can reduce disease. (2)

Cholesterol Improvements

Increases your HDL (good) cholesterol and reduces triglycerides.

Energy Levels

How to Improve Energy Levels With ExerciseIncreases your body’s overall efficiency and therefore increases energy levels.  Your body has a finite amount of energy to consume each day, and when your heart is more efficient and your circulation is better, your body will operate with greater efficiency. 

This is a good thing, since according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), one-third (1/3) of people are so tired during the day that it affects their ability to perform daily activities. (3)

Benefits of Cardio Beyond Your Health

Body Wellness With ExerciseThe benefits of cardio also extend to your appearance, as you will be more likely to maintain a healthy weight, and this will improve the way you look.  

If you look better and you feel better, then you will naturally feel better about yourself.

In the end, maybe the greatest benefits of cardio are the way you see you, and the way you feel about you. All of the health benefits and improved body efficiency are gravy!

Daily Cardio | Best Habit Ever

I have always known about the benefits of cardio. But it was always a low priority for me, and I would get to it on an occasional basis.

Not until I made it a daily part of my routine, that I really started to see the benefits of cardio. For many years, I would plan cardio three days a week:: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

And many days, I would figure out a reason not to do cardio. And I would often justify changing the schedule in my mind. “Well I don’t really have time today so I’ll double up this weekend.” Which happened…never.

So I did not really feel the full effects of cardio until I built it into my daily routine. And now it is fully ingrained into my everyday schedule. Like waking up or brushing my teeth in the morning.

I do cardio on a daily basis, and very rarely miss it. And I learned that when I cement it into my routine, it becomes a habit. So unless I have a really urgent reason to miss my daily cardio, then I rarely do.

The Impact of Daily Cardio

And the effect of doing daily cardio was profound for me. I lost 70 pounds in a year, but more importantly, I’ve kept it off now for six years. Now part of that process was a better diet, but I am convinced I would not have kept it off had I not gotten very serious about consistent and daily cardio.

And an important part of this is that cardio does not have to be heavy duty every day. So what I call daily cardio is sometimes only a 20-minute walk. But consistency is the key. I know that I might not burn tons calories doing a 20 minute walk. But over the course of a month and a year, the habit of daily cardio starts to really compound.

Kind of like compounding interest. And I keep the cardio pretty varied. Sometimes it’s a 20 minute walk, and sometimes it’s a 45 minute jog, and sometimes it’s 10 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill. But I’m always doing it, and it keeps me focused on living a healthier life.

Getting Lean With Nutrition

If you’re looking to lose a few pounds as part of your cardio schedule, you might consider a healthy and nutritious meal replacement shake. They are fewer calories than a full meal, and yet very healthy and nutritious.

So if you substitute a full meal a few times a week and replace with a meal shake, it can help you to shed some unwanted pounds. LYFE Fuel is a fast-growing brand in the meal replacement shake market. Click below to check our complete review of LYFE Fuel meal replacement shakes.

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And learn also the best time to do cardio.

Click here for cardio workouts.

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David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach and working out, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

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References

  1. Stewart, K. J. (n.d.). 3 Kinds of Exercise That Boost Heart Health. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/3-kinds-of-exercise-that-boost-heart-health#:%7E:text=Aerobic%20Exercise,-What%20it%20does&text=How%20much%3A%20Ideally%2C%20at%20least,per%20week%20of%20moderate%20activity.
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020). Exercise and chronic disease: Get the facts. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-and-chronic-disease/art-20046049?reDate=10062021
  3. Pacheco, D. (2021). What’s the Best Time of Day to Exercise for Sleep? Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-activity/best-time-of-day-to-exercise-for-sleep

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