The Health Benefits of Cardio*
You don’t need to be a regular at the gym to realize that cardiovascular exercise is easily one of the most common types of exercise. Most gyms are lined with treadmills and stationary bikes, not to mention an assortment of other cardio machines that are meant to help you work up a sweat and get your heart rate up to speed.
Cardiovascular exercises include activities like:
- Elliptical use
Because of the way that cardiovascular activities get your heart rate up and help you build up a sweat, these exercises are absolutely great for encouraging weight loss. However, they aren’t always the easiest exercises to get started with. Many forms of cardio exercises, especially running and jogging, are exceptionally harsh on the knees, ankles and other joints. You need to be careful with activities like this soon after weight loss surgery because attempting to take on too much too quick could disturb your surgical wound.
Walking, swimming, cycling and using the elliptical machine at the gym are great alternatives because of the way that these activities help you get your heart rate up and burn calories without forcing you to put regular impact on any of your joints.
Getting started with cardiovascular exercise is a great way to encourage better health following weight loss surgery. A recent study out of the Cooper Institute in Dallas found that every hour spent running could actually improve your life expectancy by about seven hours total. This is because running, like other cardiovascular activities, is super beneficial to your health—heart health in particular.
Cardio activities like those listed above support a healthy heart by:
- Reducing risk for heart attack or stroke
- Improving blood pressure
- Supporting healthy cholesterol levels
- Encouraging weight loss
Before you get started with any sort of cardiovascular activity, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about your current health and readiness to engage in different forms of exercise. Using the elliptical at the gym or going walking around your neighborhood are great ways to get started with cardiovascular activities following weight loss surgery.
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*Weight loss surgery results vary between individuals depending on the initial weight, medical conditions and adherence to prescribed treatments. Speak to Dr. Bass about the results you can expect.