Just 10 Minutes a Day Can Do the Trick!
Aerobic exercise — or “cardio,” short for cardiovascular — defines any low-intensity physical activity supported by aerobic metabolism. In plain terms: cardio involves moving your body, repeatedly, for a sustained period of time.
Cardio is an important part of being healthy and losing weight. Why? It’s one half of the easy-to-understand but difficult-to-enact weight loss equation: calories consumed < calories burned.
How do I find the time?
Some people find cardio exhausting, or difficult to fit into their schedule. The good news? You don’t have to do it for long to reap great rewards. As the Mayo Clinic reports, “Longer, less frequent sessions of aerobic exercise have no clear advantage over shorter, more frequent sessions of activity.” The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that healthy adults aim to complete at least 150 minutes a week of moderate cardio or 75 minutes a week of vigorous cardio, with sessions spread throughout the week and lasting at least 10 minutes. Moderate cardio includes brisk, sustained walking or swimming, while “vigorous” cardio includes medium to long-distance running, cycling, skiing, or rowing (among other exercises and sports).
What are the benefits?
Cardio may be a key part of most weight loss programs, but it has many, many other benefits (some immediate!), so don’t just move it to lose it. As the Mayo Clinic points out, cardio releases endorphins, helps flush waste, strengthens the heart, boosts good cholesterol, increases stamina, and may activate the immune system, lower blood pressure, and help manage chronic conditions such as coronary artery disease. So get out there and get moving!