There are so many conflicting things we hear daily about health and fitness. In the next few articles, I will attempt to clarify the what’s, the why’s and the how much, for you in your personal quest for optimum exercise prescription and creating the life experience you choose.
Myth 1: WEIGHT LOSS. We do cardio in order to lose weight.
No.(Sorry) I’ll tell you how we influence the scale and manage our body chemistry in a future post.
Fact 1: RESILIENCE. We do cardio because an efficient and effective cardiovascular system depends on a strong heart muscle and lungs that effectively uptake and deliver oxygen to the body. Heart disease kills millions, there are many environmental and behavioral causes but you can easily be responsible for creating a body that is resilient, one that can fend off the challenges that living in today’s world can throw our way. What you can do is daily aerobic exercise. It’s not necessarily about intensity, it is about consistency…intensity comes as we get better at what we practice regularly.
Fact 2: DISEASE PREVENTION. Our immune system is equipped with a custom clean-out system called the lymphatic system. There are about 1.5 gallons of lymphatic fluid in the average adult body. When we move we circulate this fluid. There is no way our lymphatic fluid can circulate itself, it moves through our body only when our muscles continuously contract, like when we walk run, cycle, ski or swim. Lymph nodes which remove toxins are located all over your body but they can’t do their job properly unless you move continuously and keep that fluid in circulation.
Fact 3: CANCER We do slow long distance cardio to prevent cancer. Cancer hates oxygen so that strong circulatory system we talked about earlier literally keeps cancer at bay. There is always the potential for cancer but our actions give our bodies the resilience to fend it off.
Fact 4: STAY YOUNG! We do cardio to stay young. This is where a little intensity comes in handy. There are many neurochemicals created in the body that when stimulated through short bouts of intensity keep our bodies and our mind full of vitality. Many companies trying to make money will try to sell you supplements. Save yourself some money and make it yourself! When you add some intensity and increase your level of output, the body responds by sending a nice little chemical cocktail to precisely the right location and in precisely the proper dose. You don’t need to add intensity for too long, just enough to send that signal to the body that you’re not a kid anymore but you still can act like one!