Why is Cardio work good for you?
Cardio work is the foundation of keeping fit. It's simple and cheap to do, you just need a pair of trainers, and off you go. Just get up and run.
OK...but why is it good for you? What does it actually do for you, and what changes can it promote in your body?
The answers to these questions can get pretty technical. When you start digging in to the chemistry of what's actually happening, well, it's fascinating - and way too complicated to get into in any detail here. I would encourage anybody interested in the subject to read a little further about how the body adapts in response to stress, changes in the environment, and workload, and hopefully apply the answers you find to your own lifestyle. Resources available on the internet are limitless - try Khan Academy as an interesting place to start.
I've thought and read a lot about this topic, and the best explanation I've found actually comes from an area of Reddit called "Explain it like I'm 5". If you don't know, (and if you don't, search for it now!) "Explain it like I'm 5" is a place where people can ask really complicated questions and get really straightforward answers. It's genius.
Anyway, I found this a while ago, and I've yet to find a better way of explaining the impact of Cardio work on the body - I've tried and I just can't do better - so I'd like to pass it along.
"The heart doesn't work alone to pump blood. When you exercise, a lot of other systems kick in to help blood get through the body easier and recycle to the heart more efficiently. Movement of other muscles and one-way valves pushes blood along and veins dilate and contract to direct flow. Exercise makes those systems more efficient, taking load off the heart."
"Working out starts turning the bloodstream's gravel roads into paved highways so the heart doesn't have to force blood through with so much pressure."
For me, this captures the essence of how important exercising is to our cardio-vascular health, and how simple it can be to unlock the benefits. So go on, get your trainers on now...