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6 Benefits of Cardio Exercise

6 Benefits of Cardio Exercise

It seems like every month there’s a new exercise program. Although having multiple options can be a good idea, sometimes it turns out to be a little bit too much.

As for myself, I don’t have too much time on my hands and can’t spend hours in the gym. That’s why I have been looking for a program or some sort of routine to improve my fitness levels. Today, most fitness programs are just fads or trends — they aren’t based on scientific research. That’s why I decided to stick with the basics and do cardio. After all, its benefits have been well-documented. Here’s why you should try incorporating some cardio exercise into your own routine.

1. It promotes brain health

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    A Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience study showed that engaging in cardio exercise helps improves memory, brain health, as well as physical fitness in sedentary adults. The results suggest that even short-term exercise can be beneficial to long-term health.

    2. It improves heart health

    Heart Health

      Your heart is a muscle and, just like any other muscle in your body, in order to remain in good health, it has to be worked. Failing to “work” your muscles, including your heart, weakens them over time, thus heightening your risks for various diseases.

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      Cardio exercise is an excellent way to get your heart pumping at a faster rate to keep it in proper shape and optimal health. Plus, cardio exercise lowers your LDL (bad) cholesterol.

      3. It improves metabolism

      Metabolism

        Along with boosting your heart rate, cardio exercise increases the rate of various processes in your body, also known as metabolism. The more intense the cardio session, the more noticeable the increase in your metabolic rate.

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        4. It eases depression and fatigue

        Ease fatigue

          Performing cardio exercise releases hormones that help relieve symptoms of fatigue and depression. As an added benefit, hormones that decrease appetite are also released.

          5. It regulates diabetes

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          diabetes

            By performing cardio exercises regularly, you will increase your muscles’ ability to utilize glucose. Regular exercise also helps to keep your blood sugar levels under control, meaning you don’t experience as many blood sugar swings as people who don’t exercise regularly. Cardio exercises are particularly beneficial for diabetics, as they are extremely sensitive to changes in blood sugar levels.

            6. It has physical benefits

            Physical Benefits

              Cardio exercises burn up calories, thus helping you shed those extra few pounds. It’s also perfect for toning your muscles and improving posture. Your increased stamina and greater energy will make you more productive overall.

              Cardio exercise is a highly popular form of exercise — and for good reason. It’s linked with various health benefits that are well-documented. With regular exercise, both your physical and mental health will be improved, along with your sleep patterns and productivity.

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              Ella James

              Health and Fitness Writer

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              Last Updated on April 2, 2020

              10 Quick Easy Workouts To Lose Arm Fat At Home

              10 Quick Easy Workouts To Lose Arm Fat At Home

              Flabby arms are something a lot of us have to tend to. If you find yourself buying a sweater or cardigan to go with your tank top or usually opt for the long-sleeved dress, then you’re not alone. Usually a result of genes, general excess fat or just ageing, it seems difficult to lose arm fat. The fat in our arms accumulates mainly around the triceps – the muscles on the back of your upper arm – and are prone to getting flabby if not exercised regularly.

              What we eat can also play a part in the extent of the jiggle so eating a good, healthy balanced diet as well as keeping well hydrated can put you on the right track. Resistance exercises are the most effective way to blast that underarm fat as well as strengthen, shape and tone your muscles. You can always go down to the gym and work up a sweat but who has time for that? If you want a convenient and quick alternative then you can easily manage an effective routine in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a set of dumbbells and you can start toning up those bingo wings with these 10 easy workouts.

              1. Tricep dips

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                Works: Triceps

                • Hands must be positioned shoulder width apart on a secured chair or bench.
                • Position your bum in front of the bench with feet hip-width apart on the floor and legs bent.
                • Straighten out your arms a little, keeping a slight bend from the elbow so to put more emphasis on the tricep and less stress on the elbow.
                • Keeping your back close to the bench, slowly lower your body so that your arms are at a 90-degree angle.
                • Once in this position slowly push off your hands back to the starting position.
                • Do 10-15 reps.

                2. Bicep curls

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                shutterstock_314080697

                  Works: Biceps and shoulders

                  • Start off with your feet hip-distance apart, holding one dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing out.
                  • Starting with your left arm, bend your elbow to slowly bring the weight up to your shoulder holding the position for 5 seconds.
                  • Slowly release the elbow and straighten your arm back down to the starting position.
                  • Repeat the moves on the right side.
                  • Complete 3 sets of 10-15 reps for each arm.

                  3. Push ups

                  shutterstock_326069966

                    Works: Triceps and Deltoids

                    • Lying face down, place your hands on the floor roughly shoulder-width apart.
                    • Tuck your toes under and gently lift your body up, pushing through your hands and making sure not to lock your elbows.
                    • Slowly bend your elbows bringing your face roughly 2-3 inches from the ground.
                    • Slowly push back up through your arms. If this is difficult then do the same move but keeping your knees on the floor.
                    • Repeat 10-15 times.

                    4. Tricep Kickbacks

                    shutterstock_314080715

                      Works: Triceps

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                      • Place a weight in each hand and kneel down onto the floor with your toes tucked under.
                      • Bend your upper body forward from the hips up and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle.
                      • Extend both your arms backwards while your palms are facing each other.
                      • Feel the tension in the triceps and return to the starting position.
                      • Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

                      5. Plank

                      shutterstock_298755041

                        Works: Chest, Shoulders, Biceps and Core

                        • Start face-down on the floor, resting on your forearms and knees.
                        • Step your feet out so that they are slightly apart and come into the plank position.
                        • Make sure your body is straight, parallel to the floor and your bum is tucked in.
                        • Pull your abs in and hold the position for as long as you can. Try to aim for 20-30 seconds and build up to a minute.
                        • Repeat 3 times.

                        6. Tricep Extensions

                        shutterstock_314080343

                          Works: Triceps

                          • Stand on a mat with your feet hip-width apart.
                          • Hold one dumbbell with both hands behind your head, bending the elbows.
                          • Bring the weight towards the ceiling, straightening your arms above your head.
                          • Lower back to starting position.
                          • Complete 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.

                          7. Lateral Arm Raises

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                          ab891e2e702b8027b704791ef556d0ce

                            Works: Deltoids

                            • Stand with feel hip-width apart. With arms down the side of your body, hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing in.
                            • Starting with your left side, inhale and slowly raise your arm so that it’s parallel to the floor. Make sure not to lock your elbow by keeping a slight bend.
                            • Make sure your arm is straight and palm is facing the floor.
                            • Exhale and slowly bring your arm back down to your side.
                            • Repeat on the right side.
                            • Do 10-15 reps on each side and two sets.

                            8. Overhead Press

                            shutterstock_314080298

                              Works: Shoulders

                              • Stand up, lining your feet with your hips and hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing out.
                              • Bring the weights to your shoulders.
                              • Keep your core muscles tight and straighten your arms above you.
                              • Slowly bring your arms back down to your shoulders.
                              • Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

                              9. Bent Over Row

                              shutterstock_275943536

                                Works: Triceps and Biceps 

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                                • Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
                                • Bend your knees and and then bend your upper body forward from the hips making sure you keep your back nice and straight.
                                • Make sure your hands are straight and placed under your shoulders.
                                • Bend the elbows back while lifting your arms towards the sides of your chest, pulling your shoulder blades towards each other.
                                • Slowly lower the weights in a controlled movement and feel the tension at your triceps.
                                • Repeat 10-15 times.

                                10. Skull Crushers

                                Skull-Crushers

                                  Works: Triceps

                                  • While holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie on your back with your knees bent.
                                  • Slowly raise your arms so they are above your chest, making sure your elbows are straight but not locked.
                                  • Slowly lower both arms toward your head, bending your elbows to 90 degrees as the dumbbells reach the mat. Aim to lower your weights so they are on either side of your head  with elbows bent and pressing in toward your head (being careful not to hit yourself in the face).
                                  • Lift your arms back to starting position.
                                  • Complete 2 or 3 sets, 10-15 reps each.

                                  Featured photo credit: Maddi Bazzocco via unsplash.com

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