A great workout routine combines strength training and aerobic exercise. But even some ardent exercise enthusiasts may not understand just how valuable aerobic exercise is. Running on the treadmill or using an elliptical machine might not be the most engaging exercises, but the benefits of aerobic exercise, often referred to as “cardio,” are undeniable. • Aerobic exercise helps people maintain healthy weights. Aerobic exercise can help men and women maintain healthy weights over the long-term. The foods people eat and the fat they store provides energy the body uses as fuel during cardiovascular exercise. The longer and more intense aerobic exercise sessions are, the more calories the body burns during those sessions. Successful weight loss programs should include routine aerobic exercise. • Aerobic exercise lowers risk for various diseases. Aerobic exercise has been proven to lower people’s risk for various diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and depression. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, high levels of cardiovascular fitness have been linked to a 50 percent reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease. • Aerobic exercise can improve muscle tone. Exercise enthusiasts who want their efforts in the gym to show should know that aerobic exercise can improve muscle tone and get men and women closer to the ripped appearance they might be looking for. Interval training, in which cardio routines alternate between high and moderate intensity, is a great way to burn additional fat during aerobic exercise. • Aerobic exercise can improve mood. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise improves mood. In addition to its impact on body image, aerobic exercise triggers the release of endorphins, a group of hormones that can quickly and effectively improve mood. Studies have also shown that physical activity can help the body combat anxiety and stress.
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