5 Benefits of a Cardio Workout
Need more motivation to do cardio? Five surprising things a pulse-pounding workout can help you doBy: The Editors of Women's Heath
Extra Body Perks
Photo Credit: Hilmar, Hilmar
Need extra incentive to hit the treadmill? Check out these amazing reasons to keep cardio exercise in your workout routine.
Overcome CravingsThe next time you hear a candy bar calling your name, try taking a hike. In one study published in the journal Appetite, subjects who took a brisk 15-minute walk decreased their cravings for chocolate by 12 percent. Just be sure to choose a route away from the vending machine.
Lose the Muffin TopObvious, right? A study in the journal Obesity found that just 80 minutes of cardio a week slowed weight gain and stopped participants from gaining visceral fat (the dangerous kind inside the abdomen that's been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease) a year after weight loss.
Quit the Cancer SticksResearch shows that 10- to 15-minute sessions of aerobic exercise trigger changes within the brain that help defuse nicotine cravings in smokers. What's more, a separate study found that cardio activity can also make smoking-related images less likely to grab smokers' attention.
Keep Your SightPeople who ran 1.2 to 2.5 miles a day had a 19 percent lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, while those who ran more cut their chance by 42 to 54 percent, according to a study from Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Vigorous activity may also decrease cataract risk.
Reduce Your Breast-Cancer RiskWomen who did either moderate exercise for 2.5 hours or vigorous activity for 75 minutes a week cut their chance of dying from breast cancer by a third, according to a study from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Women who did about twice as much cardio lowered their risk by 55 percent.
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