Few workouts pack in the same range of health benefits as cardio exercises. As the name suggests, cardio training, short for cardiovascular training, improves the health of the heart and reduces risk of associated heart diseases. However, what the name does not suggest is that cardio training also makes –
lungs and bones stronger,
reduces risk of some types of cancers,
relieves anxiety and depression,
improves sleep, and
promotes weight loss, making you feel better about the way you look and feel.
Did you notice the stress on the word “feel”? It was emphasized on purpose. Cardio training helps you feel good instantly and feel good in the future. It is suggested to patients suffering from depression and anxiety because it provides instant, albeit temporary relief. Similarly, improved sleep adds to the feel- good feeling you have when you wake up the first thing in the morning.
Cardio training actually alters the hormonal profile of your body in beneficial ways. The feel-good hormones temporarily reduce fatigue and also curb appetite, apart from making you feel less anxious or depressed. In fact, people who train in cardio regularly have a much positive outlook on life overall and lead better quality of lives. Of course, the physical health benefits also translate into a good feeling in the future, when you grow older without the risk of diabetes, some cancers, or weak and brittle bones.
Martial arts and cardio – one power-packed combo!
While martial arts are comprehensive forms of training alone, you can increase the benefits multiple- folds by combining martial arts training with cardio training. Begin with regular cardio exercises like running, swimming, biking, jumping rope, mountain climbing, bear crawling, and rowing to give your body the extra push it needs. Mountain climbing and swimming are, in fact, great cardiovascular exercises that allow you to have fun while working out. At a more advanced level, you can try various drills and sprints to build your cardiovascular endurance.
All professional boxers, fighters, and trained martial arts experts use cardiovascular training with martial arts to improve their performance before a big match, or to speed up their recovery from intense martial arts practice. This is because cardiovascular exercises help build endurance. You’ll see that regular cardio training has a direct impact on your martial arts skills as well. A good idea is to talk to your martial arts trainer for a tailor-made cardio training routine that will work the best for your body and fitness level.