Cardio is breathing efficiency and effectiveness. It’s ingesting and expiring oxygen into and out of the lungs. There are two places through which we ingest oxygen, the mouth and the nose. The nose is the most efficient and effective thing to use for breathing. Hydration, thermo-regulation, circulation, nervous system integration and filtration are the primary reasons it is most beneficial to breathe through the nose. None of the above things occur when we breathe through our mouth. It turns out our nose is on our face for breathing as well as blowing and stopping to smell the roses.
Cardio is also needed for the heart’s efficient and effective delivery of oxygenated blood to the muscles (arteries) and the effective return of deoxygenated blood from the muscles back to the heart (veins). This involves a well conditioned heart muscle. A well conditioned heart needs both strength and endurance. This is why short, intense intervals are equally as important as practicing long, slow distance.
That’s the what. Here are the why:
- Lymphatic circulation. Did you know that we have about 1.5 gallons of lymphatic fluid that needs to circulate through our bodies? The only way to keep this fluid in circulation is through regular movement of the musculo-skeletal system. Walking is ideal for this purpose, as well as exercise like swimming, the Primary 9 core moves and yoga. Lymphatic circulation is like the body’s clean-out mechanism. It plays a large part in the functioning of our body’s immune system. This, in addition to the next point, is the best “why” to describe the reasoning behind 30 minutes of cardio-3 times per week.
- Anti-cancer. Cancer hates oxygen. When you move your body continuously, especially when you include deep diaphragmatic nasal breathing, you create an inhospitable environment where cancer cells will not live and thrive. So aerobic exercise keeps cancer at bay..
- Anti-aging and heart disease. The short-intense intervals keep us young as well as stop heart dis-ease. Maintain your ability to sprint! It’s called “tagging the bully.” You don’t have to fight to the death, just be willing to throw a few punches with the champ and step back. Stimulating our nervous system in such a way keeps important neuro-chemicals and hormones circulating in our bodies which keep us young and frisky.