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Here’s Why Cardio Exercises Are So Good For Your Health

Here’s Why Cardio Exercises Are So Good For Your Health

You probably already know cardio exercises (in moderation) are good for you, but do you know why?

It’s easy to go from one workout to the next, never really stopping to think about why you bother taking the time to sweat, tone, and sweat some more. It turns out there are a lot more health benefits associated with consistent cardio workouts than you may have initially thought.

This article describes what will start to happen once you have done cardio regularly for 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week for an extended period of time. Here are 5 reasons why you should put forth the effort.

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1. You will have increased stamina

When you first started working out, you probably remember how hard it was to get through even half of your fitness routine in the beginning. However, as you kept up with that routine, each workout got a little easier, and you were able to get much more out of each session. This is because your stamina increased as you continued exerting energy.

Eventually, your body gets used to doing the work you ask it to do, which makes not only working out less difficult, but also tasks like yard-work and walking up stairs, much easier to endure.

2. You will have a stronger heart

Your heart works hard every day to continuously pump blood through your body, bringing oxygen to your muscles, and making sure you continue functioning like a healthy human being. The harder it has to work, the more you put yourself at risk for developing heart disease as you age

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Over time, regular cardio workouts can help to strengthen your heart, meaning it won’t have to work quite as hard to do its job well and keep you healthy. Cardio exercise helps decrease blood pressure, which just means you’re putting less stress on your cardiovascular system as a whole.

3. You will notice improved sleep patterns

Remember those 150 minutes of exercise per week we mentioned earlier? This amount of weekly activity can change the way you sleep, giving you enough alertness throughout the day to keep you productive no matter what’s on your agenda.

If you generally have trouble sleeping well at night, a consistent moderate cardio workout can help improve the quality of your sleep. While there’s no solid evidence supporting whether or not there’s a best time of day to workout, studies have shown those who keep up with their fitness regiments report improved sleep patterns.

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4. You will feel better, physically and mentally

With more energy, a stronger heart, and better sleep, there’s seemingly no end to all the ways cardio exercises are so good for you. There are more than just physical benefits to cardio, though – your brain also gets something out of it.

Engaging in regular physical activity not only makes you feel physically fit, but can also help improve your mood, help you manage daily stress, and help your ability to concentrate. Whether you start or end your day with cardio, you can be certain you’ll have a much better outlook on the days that will follow.

5. You will decrease your risk for developing chronic disease

Cardio (short for cardiovascular, or heart) workouts do much more than decrease your risk for developing heart problems. Doing cardio exercises multiple times a week can also minimizes depression symptoms and decreases your risk of developing diabetes, stomach problems, and certain types of cancers.

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Conclusion

Humans were not meant to be sedentary. The lack of physical activity over time is a major contributor to many of the leading causes of death in America. Cardio exercise benefits you not only in the short-term, but also the long-term, increasing your potential for living a longer and much healthier life.

Now, as you go through your cardio workouts, you don’t have to do it just because you know it’s the healthy thing to do. You know why it’s good for you, and might also be able to convince your friends to head to the gym with you next time.

Featured photo credit: E’Lisa Campbell via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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