Why do I do cardio? I do cardio because it ramps up my metabolic rate and turns me into a fat burning machine.
But the benefits of cardio go far beyond the direct effect it has on fat-loss. Cardio just makes me feel better all around.
I utilize my food better and I operate like a fine tuned machine rather than just some calorie consuming fat ass!!!
I started doing cardio consistently when I was around 19 years old. Back then cardio was just something you saw in the Rocky movies, so I figured that doing cardio had to be beneficial since I saw boxers doing it.
I would lift weights and then jog about 20-30 minutes 3x each week after I lifted weights. I would jog outside during the hotter summer months and I would jog outside through snow during winter months – which really helped keep me on the leaner side as I was growing muscle at the same time!!
As I started becoming more knowledgeable on nutrition and fitness I soon realized that the biggest benefit of cardio is health. That's what got me taking my cardio seriously. And here's why you should take your cardio seriously too.
TOP 10 BENEFITS OF CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING
#1) Your heart is the most important muscle of the body, without a healthy heart you have nothing!!
Cardiovascular training strengthens the heart. This is even more important to the guys who use performance enhancing drugs or even a lot of supplements.
Without your heart health you really have nothing.
Lifting weights and using steroids can enlarge the heart. A slightly enlarged heart is not unhealthy, but one that is greatly enlarged certainly isn't healthy.
My heart is slightly enlarged but my thought process is that if I can do anything to help my heart pump blood more efficiently then it'll help me stay in the gym longer….and on earth longer.
#2) Cardiovascular training improves stamina in the bedroom
You know, I have to be honest about this one here…
EVERY SINGLE TIME I've ever had sex with a girl I couldn't help but think about what types of other guys she had been with…
And how I needed to outperform them.
I'm a competitive guy by nature and I just cannot help but think of how a girl would be happier with a guy who didn't run out of breath in 2 minutes and be gasping for air next to her ears.
Maybe that would be annoying to a lot of women? Thankfully cardio fixes that issue!
#3) Cardiovascular training STRONGLY improves your odds of winning a fight
It's statistically proven that a guy with enough gas to make it through the first 2 minutes of a fight has a 90% chance of winning that fight.
I'm not saying you should be a fighter here and you're better off staying out of legal trouble and walking away if you can.
But it's a good feeling to know that you're in good enough cardio shape to beat the shit out of someone if you needed to!!
#4) Cardiovascular training improves nutrient efficiency and metabolic rate
Before even getting into the direct fat loss benefits from cardio, let us not forget that cardio improves the way your body burns through food.
It keeps the metabolic rate higher, even long after the cardio session has been performed!! Think of this as running your car with a clean air filter versus a dirty one.
Cardio also helps stimulate appetite through this process and being hungry is all part of the fat loss game. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have I gotten really lean and not been hungry.
If you're not hungry then you're doing something wrong and you may need to look into your diet and training, sleep patterns, and stress levels.
#5) Cardiovascular training directly burns fat
Cardio training burns fat because after glycogen stores are exhausted from either training and/or dieting, the body will tap into stored bodyfat to perform the cardio training.
This is one of the major reasons why it's best to do cardio directly after weight training or first thing in the morning before eating (if you can, you probably can if you're not lazy. Cardio can be done anywhere, it's not just limited to the gym!!)
#6) Cardiovascular training improves your mood by releasing more serotonin
You may have heard of the expression “A runner's high.” A runners high is an intense amount of serotonin that is dumped into the body during cardiovascular training.
Serotonin is that feel-good chemical in our brains that gives us that feeling of being “high on life.”
Here is something else you may not know…..95% of serotonin in the body is actually located in the bowels and directly related to digestive health, but we'll save that for a future article.
Cardio just puts you in a better mood.
This positive effect on mood can carry on long after doing the cardio session is over.
Maybe you're rough days at work wouldn't be as bad if you started doing more cardio!!
#7) Cardiovascular training is a stress reliever and improves sleep
Having trouble sleeping at night or getting into a full REM sleep?
Cardiovascular training can help you sleep better and feel more rested the next morning.
#8) Cardiovascular training can drastically improve/reverse sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a very common problem with a lot of men and also common among weightlifters/bodybuilders. If you go long enough with sleep apnea then it can cause some irreversible damage on your body, specifically the heart!!
My father was in the car business and worked 70+ hours a week on a regular basis. He always snored like a beast. It was so bad that he and my mother never even slept in the same room for as long as I can remember.
But I remember a brief period of time when my Dad stopped snoring.
I was roommates with my father for a brief period of time. We lived together in a small rental unit with only 3 rooms (living area w/ built-in kitchen, 1 bedroom, and 1 bathroom). I slept on a pull-out couch and he slept in the bedroom. The place was probably 400 square feet at best.
During that time he signed up for a gym membership and he did cardio every morning before work. He even had my first bodybuilding competition photo on his bathroom mirror as motivation. And a strange thing happened…
I stopped hearing my Dad's snoring every night!
It was very rewarding to me to watch my Dad improve his health.
Unfortunately it wasn't sustained and years of sleep apnea eventually caught up with him. He didn't seek treatment for sleep apnea until it had caused damage to his heart.
Now he has to take a bunch of medication on a daily basis for the remainder of his life and he has been shocked twice to get his heart back into normal rhythm again.
#9) Cardiovascular training can improve your pet's mood
Have a dog that is destructive? Well one of the reasons your dog is destructive is because it's not getting enough attention.
You may find that something as simple as walking your dog every morning improves their behavior.
Some breeds of dogs just need “a job” to do.
I found this to be the most common case with German Shepard's. I used to help train police dogs and one of the biggest reasons the Shepard's are used as police dogs is because they need a job to do and they long for your attention and praise.
Exercising your pet is good for any breed!!
#10) Cardiovascular training can improve your self-image and how you view yourself
Life is just better when we can look at ourselves and feel good right? Chances are that if you're feeling like a lazy slob it's because you're living like one.
Cardio can not only improve the way you see yourself but also your confidence level.
You may not see it but people around you will notice it.
You'll just give off a positive vibe and you may notice more attraction from others, especially females (or more attraction from guys if your a girl, or guys if you're a guy, or whatever way you may swing)