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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.

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              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 19, 2021

              8 Weight Loss Tracker and Exercise Apps for Your Fitness Goals

              8 Weight Loss Tracker and Exercise Apps for Your Fitness Goals

              Are you frustrated by the fact that you haven’t been able to lose weight? Have you ever wondered if you don’t actually know how many calories you eat in a day? How much exercise do you ACTUALLY get, and why doesn’t anything seem to be working? A weight loss tracker can help you answer all of these questions and more.

              How can we start to see results and have the momentum to keep moving forward? The answer is simple:

              Have a game-plan and know exactly what is going on inside your body.

              If you really want to excel at your fitness goal, then you need to have a game-plan for success. You need to know what will keep you motivated, how to simplify things, how to be more efficient at your goals, and even find what you enjoy the most.

              You can start by checking out Lifehack’s Busy Yet Fit Course, which will help you get into the groove of working out, even if you have a busy lifestyle.

              If you’re blindly trying to chase your goals, then you probably feel about as hopeless as a carpenter with a butter-knife. So, it’s time to stock your toolbelt for success!

              I am about to show you the top weight loss tracker apps that will be game-changers for you. From nutrition trackers to step counters, these apps are sure to set you on the fast track to your fitness goals.

              Keep reading to find the apps that might just shoot you past your plateau and into the lifestyle you dream of.

              1. MyFitnessPal

                When it comes to the best weight loss tracker apps, this one takes the cake (The Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan cake that is).

                MyFitnessPal is the best all around calorie counter that I have found on the market. This app is free and has almost all the calorie counting resources available to you. Not only does it seamlessly estimate the daily calories needed to hit your goal, but it also gives you the methods to track it.

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                Just enter the ingredients of each meal you eat, and it will add up how many calories you eat. It can also scan product barcodes and automatically enter those calories for you.

                Going a step beyond that, this app also tracks your macros (according to your own customized goals) and nutrients. Furthermore, you can input a desired weight to track your weight loss journey.

                While that all seems impressive enough, this app also tracks exercise calories and can sync to Fitbit, MapmyRun, and other apps to measure your exact energy ratio.

                If you want a one-stop map to success, then this is it! This will not only help you develop a game plan, but will also create a flexible plan to get you there.

                Get the app here!

                2. Fitbit

                  I know you’ve already heard of this app, and for good reason. Fitbit has been helping thousands step their way to health since it first came out.

                  While investing in a Fitbit may not be cheap, I believe it to be well worth the investment.

                  Fitbit will track your total amounts of steps each day. For those of you who are competitive, this is the perfect app to keep you moving and motivated throughout the day.

                  This app can also sync with other fitness apps, like MyFitnessPal, to measure your exact energy expenditure each day. It’s a keeper for sure, especially if you’re looking for a great weight loss tracker.

                  Get the app here!

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                  3. MapMyRun

                    This is another one for the competitive, beginner, or exercise enthusiast. MapMyRun measures the distance that you run and even tracks your route. Furthermore, you can sync your daily results with MyFitnessPal to keep track of your daily calorie burn.

                    If you want to go at it with a friend, you can challenge them in competitions that are sure to keep you both moving!

                    Once, my husband ran for 2 miles just before midnight to beat me in a competition that was ending the next day. Talk about motivation!

                    MapMyRun is perfect for those who like to challenge themselves, love to be part of a fitness community, or want a place for friends to hold them accountable to their goals.

                    Get the app here!

                    4. Zombies, Run!

                      Are you having trouble pulling away from entertainment to go out and run? Then why not combine the two?

                      ZombieRun is a fun app that is sure to get you moving if you are someone who is motivated by a good time. In fact, you might even have such a blast you will forget you are exercising!

                      This app takes you through a storyline and makes you the hero. Each level will present a new challenge to help you progress and keep things exciting.

                      You certainly won’t need to worry about your pre-workout. Imagining you are the hero in the story will be enough to keep your adrenaline pumping on its own.

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                      Just be sure not to move too slow or the “Zombs” (as we runners affectionately call them) might catch you!

                      Get the app here!

                      5. Prepear

                        Are you tired of sitting down for hours and trying to strategize what to eat? This app helps cut this time in a quarter and is a great addition as a weight loss tracker.

                        Simply add online recipes into your weekly meal plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and it will organize all the ingredients you will need into a shopping list.

                        With all your meal planning in one organized area, it will be easy to find which meal you plan to make for the day. This will keep your healthy recipes delicious. You will seriously never have to fret about meal planning again!

                        Get the app here!

                        6. Strava

                          If walking is your health resolution, this weight loss tracker might be for you. Strava is sure to get you into healthy habits that you enjoy. In fact, you might start losing weight before realizing that you’ve even been exercising.

                          This app enables you to track your trails and mileage, take pictures, and invite friends to join. It is a keeper for beginners and hikers alike.

                          Get the app here!

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                          7. Aaptiv

                            If you find yourself at the gym and not sure what to do, then this app might be for you. Aptive gives you workouts to do and instructs you how to do them.

                            While there’s nothing quite like the accountability of a personal trainer, Aaptiv is a great way to be guided through exercises without having to dish out tons of money.

                            The online instructors will guide you through the movements and keep you focused on finishing the workout. This app is sure to make you a gym rat in no time!

                            Get the app here!

                            8. Freeletics

                              Here’s one for those of you always on the move! Freeletics is an incredible app designed for people who just don’t have the time (or motivation) to drive down to the gym. Freeletics provides online workouts designed specifically from bodyweight with no equipment needed.

                              You will be surprised at what a great workout you can get without any equipment.

                              That’s right, you work-travelers; say goodbye to your excuses because this app is bringing the trainer to you!

                              Get the app here!

                              The Bottom Line

                              These 8 weight loss tracker apps are sure to revolutionize your fitness goals. Guesswork will no longer be a part of your fitness journey. These apps are like carrying professionals around in your pocket all day!

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                              Get ready to be motivated, informed, and ready to start achieving your dreams!

                              More Tips for Weight Loss

                              Featured photo credit: Gabin Vallet via unsplash.com

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