If you are looking to get into shape then getting a CV machine such as an elliptical trainer or rowing machine, or hitting the gym where you can find them, is a great way to do so and a great way to build your muscle, lose your fat and generally improve your appearance.
However at the same time, trying to improve your physical appearance and fitness is far from the only reason to start doing CV at home or at the gym. You see exercise isn’t just a tool to ‘get in shape’ and it shouldn’t be a means to an end. Rather, continual exercise should be an ends in itself and is an important way to improve our general health and to avoid a vast range of different health complaints.
Firstly, if you do CV then this will provide you with cardiovascular fitness. This means that you are exercising for a long duration of time which means that the body has to start looking for its emergency supplies of energy. You know these as ‘fat’ deposits and while they are like cereal bars to your body, you probably would be glad to see the back of them.
In order to convert that fat to energy, what your body needs to do is to carry oxygen to those fat stores in your blood. It does this first by making you take in more oxygen (why you pant when you exercise) and then increasing blood flow around the body in order to carry that oxygen to the muscles. Oxygen is reactive and is a catalyst for chemical reactions – that’s why it is crucial fuel for fire – and that’s why it is able to burn your fat for energy.
This then means you lose the fat and if you aren’t already fat it means you aren’t likely to get that way. Furthermore though, it also works the human circulatory system as the body pumps blood and oxygen around the body. This means that it strengthens the heart and at the same time allows the blood to travel more efficiently around the body. This in turn means that you are less likely to suffer from a stroke or a heart attack, you are less likely to get chest pains, and you are less likely to suffer from shortness of breath.
Improved circulation also helps you in many other ways. It helps you to improve your complexion and prevents facial flushing. It also prevents deep vein thrombosis in the legs and improves your body temperature. The weight loss itself will also help you to remove a range of negative health consequences. Less weight for instance will mean less pressure on the joints and again less pressure on the heart. It also reduces your chances of developing for example diabetes.
The act of exercising also helps to lubricate joints and you can use cardiovascular exercise to prevent a range of joint conditions such as arthritis. Because elliptical machines and rowing machines have no impact, this is particularly effective in this form of training (treadmills are not as advisable for those aiming to improve joint pain).