Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises provide huge benefits to your circulatory, respiratory, and immune systems. Aerobic exercises play a key role in speeding healing, increasing performance, preventing degenerative conditions, and even preventing numerous types of cancer.
Weight-bearing exercises such as running and walking strengthen not only your muscles, but also your skeletal system, and help to decrease the risk of osteoporosis and other age–related diseases.
Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is all about increasing your aerobic capacity, improving circulatory function, and increasing energy production. Aerobic exercise does this by increasing the density of capillaries in your muscles and by increasing the level of mitochondrial function in your cells. When you have more capillaries, your cells are able to obtain more nutrients for repair and work, and are able to get rid of waste by-products much more rapidly.
Your mitochondria are the principal energy producers in your cells. Mitochondria convert nutrients into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a readily–metabolized form of energy used by all living cells. The more energy you have, the easier it is for your body to heal itself and power all the tasks you must perform each day.
Aerobic exercises also promote the loss of excess fat and increases your metabolic rate. In addition, aerobic exercises increase the sensitivity of your cells to insulin, and help your body to better regulate its sugar levels. This is very important for all of us to keep in mind since over 7% of our population now suffers from diabetes; and with increasing rates of obesity, more people are at risk than ever before.
Anaerobic exercise (exercising with reduced blood oxygen levels) is also very important for performance or athletic training. Just like weight training, anaerobic training also promotes the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Research has shown that short intense bursts of anaerobic activity produces high levels of lactic acid. In a high–lactic acid environment, your body increases production of HGH. This means that when we combine anaerobic activity with weight training, we can substantially increase our HGH levels. Bottom line: we will be stronger, leaner, fitter, and healthier.
You should include at least half an hour to forty-five minutes of walking and running in your daily exercise regime. If your schedule is too busy for daily walking, then try to ensure that you walk or run vigorously at least three to four times a week.