Why Do Cardio?

There are two main reasons why cardiovascular exercise is important! They are known as systemic effects and peripheral effects.

The systemic effects of cardiovascular exercise are increased stroke volume, increased oxygen utilization, decreased blood pressure, and decreased heart rate. Stroke volume is the quantity of blood ejected with each stroke and is an important part of the equation for cardiac output. Cardiac output is the primary indicator of the functional capacity of the circulation to meet the demands of physical activity. An increase in oxygen use is vital during any exercise. The more capacity a person has for consuming oxygen during exercise, the more physically fit. Endurance level also increases. A decrease in blood pressure and heart rate are self-explanatory.

The peripheral effects of cardiovascular exercise include increased number and size of mitochondria, increased glycogen, increased release of fatty acids, and increased capacity to oxidize fat. Mitochondria supply cellular energy. Glycogen serves as a form of energy and is stored in the muscles and liver. The more energy you have to exert during physical activity, the greater the capacity to oxidize fat and release fatty acids – even hours after you have finished.

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