Cardiovascular Fitness and Improved Mental Health

Gym training outdoorsWhat is cardiovascular fitness and how can we benefit from it? Cardio workouts are good for our hearts. Our hearts are at the center of everything so we must take care of it in order to live a long healthy life. Cardio work outs of course require motivation to lose weight. Not just that, doing cardio work outs over time will improve your breathing. (Image by uonottingham via Flickr)

In simple terms, the phrase refers to the ability of the body’s heart and lungs to pump blood, and therefore oxygen, to the working muscles and the ability of these muscles to utilize the oxygen i.e. A person with a high level of cardiovascular fitness is able to efficiently transport and utilize oxygen.

Routinely participating in sustained physical activity helps to maintain cardiovascular fitness and results in the following benefits:

Improvement in functional and exercise capacity:


  • Increased submax and max cardiovascular exercise capacity
  • Increased anaerobic threshold (the point at which lactic acid starts to accumulate in the muscles)
  • Improved performance of activities of daily living and daily activity levels

Improvement in psychological well-being:

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Self-efficacy
  • Insomnia
  • Quality of life

Reduction in cardiac risk factors:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Visceral and general obesity
  • Hyperinsulinemia (excess levels of insulin circulating in the blood)
  • Insulin resistance

Improvement in symptoms:

  • Claudication (discomfort in the legs)
  • Angina
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Improvement in peripheral skeletal muscle structure and function:

  • Muscle mass (Progressive Resistance Training only)
  • Strength (Progressive Resistance Training only)
  • Glycogen storage
  • Glucose transport
  • Blood flow, capillary density
  • Amino acid uptake and protein synthesis
  • A-V O2 extraction (how much oxygen is taken from the blood to be used by the cells

Improvement in pathophysiology of disease

…More at Benefits of Cardiovascular Fitness | Healthfix Blog

All work out programs should start out with some type of cardio so that you can start producing a healthier heart. A healthy heart equals a healthy life.