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   Some people refer to cardiovascular exercise as aerobic exercise; some people call it cardio for short. All it amounts to is exercises that involve the large muscles like the legs and help make your heart and lungs stronger. Cardiovascular exercise has lots of health benefits, many of which can be achieved in just 10 minutes of exercise. These benefits include:

Improved Weight Management From Calories Burned During and After Exercise 
Improved Heart Function
Increased Lung Capacity 
Reduced Risk of Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure and Diabetes 
Improved Mood 
Better Sleep 
Reduced Stress Levels

Below are a few popular cardiovascular activities:


Due to the low impact nature of walking, it is one of the easiest and most convenient forms of cardio. Whether you're new to exercises or a seasoned veteran, take advantage of the benefits of walking and adjust your intensity based on your experience. Simply put on your walking shoes, step out your door and off you go.


Following right behind walking in convenience, jogging or running provides an option for cardio with a slightly higher intensity. Start slowly and work up to more difficult workouts. Once you develop some experience as a runner, vary your speed and terrain to challenge your cardiovascular system. Remember, keep your head up and pay attention to your form to minimize the risk of injury.


Take a spinning class, ride the stationary bike or hop on your road bike and ride the neighborhood to get the cardio benefits of cycling. With many options, this very low impact exercise can easily be a part of your workout. Cycling is ideal if you experience any lower body orthopedic problems with the knees or hips or if you carry excess weight.


Swimming utilizes the entire upper body and core, making it an effective cardio activity. If you are a beginner, swimming for extended periods of time while maintaining a steady heart rate will be difficult. Build up to longer workouts. Since being in the water eases stress on your joints, water activities such as aerobics or walking work well for those with arthritis or other joint problems.


Elliptical Trainer

Elliptical training machines continue to become easier to find and more comfortable to use. Ellipticals vary in that some use the upper and lower body, some only the lower and others provide the option to increase or decrease the angle on the legs. They provide very little impact on the joints of the lower body.


Aerobic Dance

Aerobic dance classes vary from very low impact to much higher intensity using tools such as a step and kickboxing. Classes range in theme from Latin dance inspired aerobics to belly dancing. Find something that works for you based on your exercise experience, body type, goals and injury status.