A cardiovascular or cardio workout is any moderate or vigorous-intensity workout that gets your heart pumping and your oxygen and blood flowing. It includes exercises, like running, swimming, or boxing, that use a large set of muscles for an extended period of time.
You’ll know it’s cardio when you find yourself at the end of your workout with your hands on your knees breathing hard!
This winded feeling is a big reason why cardio often has a reputation for being… difficult. After all, it’s not easy going round after round in the boxing ring or swimming multiple laps in a row.
But the health benefits of a cardio workout make it well worth the effort—even if you’re only going for a few rounds in the ring! Cardio is so crucial to your health and wellness that the American Heart Association recommends you get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio each week.
Here’s why all that sweat, pain, and heavy breathing is worth the effort:
8 Incredible Benefits of Cardio :
Stronger Joints, Bones, and Muscles
Cardio workouts put an incredible amount of stress on your joints, bones, and muscles. Think about the impact of each stride while running or throwing a punch. While too much stress can lead to injury, a healthy amount of stress makes you stronger.
You’re forcing your muscles, joints, and bones to adapt and grow so that they can perform the task you’re asking them to do. This plays a big role in the quality of your life as you get older and start losing bone density and muscle mass.
With a regular cardio routine, you’re less likely to struggle with health issues like joint pain, arthritis, or osteoporosis as you age. Instead, you can keep enjoying the movement activities you love—like boxing!
Boxing is a great cardio workout that puts a lot of healthy stress on your body:
- Your legs generate the power behind each punch
- Your hips deliver the impact
- Your core and glutes engage to hold your boxing foundation
- Your arms and shoulders bring the power and explosion as you hit the Liteshield
Plus, your workouts with Liteboxer are never the same. This continues to challenge you and your joints, bones, and muscles every time you step into the ring.
Healthier Heart and Lungs
Cardio is a workout for your heart and lungs too! They have to work harder than usual to take in and circulate oxygen throughout your body, supply your muscles with nutrients, and flush out waste products like carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
But your body is built to handle and adapt to this kind of stress. So every time you go for a run or box to the beat of a Punch Track workout, your heart and lungs get more efficient at doing their job. Your lungs start taking in more oxygen with each breath. Your blood vessels expand to pump more oxygen to your muscles. And your heart doesn’t have to beat as fast to pump the oxygen-supplying blood that you need.
Over time, this strengthens the capacity of your heart and lungs, improving your circulation and oxygen flow throughout the body. In other words, you, your heart, and your lungs are getting stronger. This increased efficiency lowers your risk of certain health concerns like heart disease, stroke, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and more.
When your heart, lungs, and muscles are stronger this means you don’t have to work as hard to perform the same activity that once left you out of breath. With cardio, your body adapts to the workload over time helping improve your endurance. And before you know it you’ll need to increase the intensity or duration of your exercise to feel challenged.
But this isn’t just about being able to box for longer. When you have better endurance, this improves your quality of life. You’ll have more energy to power through your day.
If you feel wiped after a workout with Liteboxer, we encourage you to rest and try for round two. You’ll surprise yourself with how quickly your endurance improves with each boxing workout.
Less Stress & More Confidence and Energy
When you work out, your body releases mood-boosting hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. And at the same time, it also reduces your body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. This balance in your hormones helps reduce your stress and anxiety levels while improving your mood, confidence, and energy.
And when it comes to building confidence and boosting your mood there’s no better way to do it than leaving it all in the ring as you punch out any anger, frustration, or stress. There’s something about hitting a target with all you've got that helps you tune out the stressors in your life and tune into your power and confidence.
Not only does boxing reduce stress, but it’s hard to get too deep in your thoughts when you’re focusing on timing your punches to the beat and getting as many accurate hits as you can.
This gets you out of your head, lost in the music, and focusing on the movement of your body. So when you finish your workout your body might feel exhausted, but your mind will feel a whole lot lighter.
Faster Metabolism & Calorie-Burning
A high-intensity cardio workout can help build muscle and burn fat, which can be helpful if weight loss is one of your fitness goals. According to Valdosta State University, a high-intensity workout like boxing can burn anywhere between 354 to 558 calories per hour depending on your weight.
And you’ll continue to burn calories even after you stop your cardio workout thanks to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This is when your metabolism stays elevated and continues to burn calories even after you finish working out.
Your body is still working hard after your workout to make repairs to your muscle tissue and bring your body’s functioning back to normal. And all that effort takes energy!
Learn more about how boxing, in combination with healthy eating, can be a fun and effective full-body weight loss solution.
Lower Cholesterol & Blood Sugar Levels
A tough cardio workout can help manage your blood sugars and reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol levels. It also boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol, which can help prevent blockage in your arteries.
This reduces your risk of health concerns like type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. And it helps keep things running smoothly in your digestive system!
Increased Brain Functioning
Cardio exercise doesn’t just support a healthier body, but also a healthier brain. Research shows that cardio exercise could help improve your memory and cognitive functioning. Especially a cardio workout like boxing that requires explosive and quick movement!
Here are some of the brain benefits of a boxing workout:
- Faster hand-eye coordination as you choreograph your punches to the beat of the music
- A sharper memory as you drill out your boxing combinations
- Increased focus as our sensors track your power and accuracy with every punch
- Balance and body awareness as you stabilize your foundation with every jab and cross
All these boxing movements translate to everyday life, giving you better memory, coordination, judgment, and thinking skills. And no matter your age or health, we could all enjoy a little more mind-body awareness and cognitive functioning!
By improving your cardiovascular endurance, lowering your blood pressure, building a healthier heart and lungs, increasing your energy, and reducing stress levels, you’re also building up your body’s immune health. In other words, by keeping your body healthy it’s more prepared to handle any germ, disease, or toxin that comes your way.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll never get sick if you’re regularly working out. But exercise trains your body to adapt and respond to stress and then come out on the other side stronger.
Not only that, but exercise often encourages a healthier lifestyle like better sleep and healthier foods. All this in combination helps support a stronger and more resilient immune system.
How Much Cardio Do You Need?
According to the American Heart Association, you need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Or if you’re doing high-intensity cardio like boxing, you only need 75 minutes.
Here’s a great way to break that out across the week:
- Tuesday: Rest
- Thursday: Active recovery with Liteboxer 20-minute Restorative Yoga
- Saturday: Rest
Check out our 3-month workout plan for even more help building a weekly workout routine!
Liteboxer: The Ultimate Cardio Workout
Liteboxer is a great way to experience all the benefits of a cardio (and strength) workout. We’ve taken the best parts of boxing and paired them with an interactive and beat-driven digital experience. We combine hardware, game dynamics, hit music, and expert training all into one high-intensity workout that’s happening right in your living room.
And when it’s this fun to workout it makes hitting that weekly target of 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio exercise that much easier.
Are you ready to elevate your health and your workout with Liteboxer? It’s time to step into the ring and experience the benefits first-hand. Start your Liteboxer Membership today and don’t forget to join us in the community for support along the way!