Running, stair climbing, cycling and other exercises increase our cardiorespiratory fitness (the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to skeletal muscles during sustained physical activity). if you find yourself out of breath after a short jog or quit after a few minutes on the treadmill, you’re lacking the cardio stamina your body needs.
Why is cardio important? Besides being a great tool to shed pounds and get in better shape, research suggests we all need cardio in our lifelong quest to prevent cancer. The study tracked more than 13,000 middle-aged men for 38 years to determine how cardio fitness impacted cancer risk. The study found “an inverse association between midlife CRF and incident lung and colorectal cancer, but not prostate cancer.” This means that the higher their cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), the lower their likelihood of getting lung or colorectal cancer.
In addition, “high midlife CRF is associated with lower risk of cause-specific mortality in those diagnosed as having cancer at Medicare age,” concluded the study: the higher one’s cardiorespiratory fitness in midlife, the lower the chance of dying of cancer at an older age.
Need more reason to get out there and do a little cardio? Here are some great ways to get started. For a more advanced cardio workout, click here.
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