Exercise Benefits: Weight Loss, Muscle Hypertrophy, and More

Posted by Mike Miryala on

Overview

 

Cardiovascular training is a type of exercise characterized by the non-interrupted use of oxygen by the cells to produce energy for muscle contraction.

Of course, all exercises need oxygen; however, exercise activates certain metabolic pathways that run exclusively on oxygen (e.g., the Krebs cycle). Activities that belong to this category include jogging, swimming, cycling, and walking.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have exercise, which activates the metabolic pathways that do not require oxygen (e.g., anaerobic glycolysis). 

Exercise is one of the best weight loss exercises that all people who suffer from obesity should opt for. 

In this article, we will cover the major benefits of aerobic exercise and how it can benefit your body.

 

The benefits of exercise

 

Bone mineral density

In a 2014 study, researchers analyzed the connection between exercise and bone mineral density.

The study recruited 65 participants aged between 30-60 years old. Before the study begins, researchers took blood samples from all participants to measure the amounts of bone formation markers (e.g., osteocalcin), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP), and bone resorption marker deoxypyridinoline (DPD). In addition to these markers, researchers also measured the levels of calcium in the bloodstream.

Subjects participated in exercise three times a week for a 12-week period, and at the end of the study, blood samples were taken, and researchers measured the bone formation markers again.

The results showed a significant increase in bone formation markers after 12 weeks of moderate exercise in 65 participants.

 

Sleep

Sleep disorders have been documented as a risk factor for several debilitating diseases such as blood hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who sleep less than 7 hours a night are most likely to report having health problems, including cardiovascular disease.

This was attributed to the medical conditions that can get triggered by chronic sleep deprivation, which compose risk factors (e.g., blood hypertension, diabetes, obesity) for heart disease themselves.

In addition to optimizing heart health, sleep will also promote cardiovascular endurance and make each exercise more efficient. Eventually, this leads to better performance at the gym and more muscle growth.

Fortunately, exercise induces the production of melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for the regulation of the circadian rhythm and sleep. By exercising regularly, you will inadvertently regulate your circadian rhythm, which leads to a more balanced sleep.

With that said, many people get tempted to do a couple of in-home training sessions before sleeping. While that is great, you may want to avoid practicing any form of physical activity nearing your bedtime.

The reason is that exercising during the evening stimulates the production of hormones, such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. These hormones induce a state of alertness that renders sleep impossible.

 

Weight loss

In a 2012 study, researchers compared numerous exercises to see which one is the best for weight loss.

They inspected two primary exercises: included cardiovascular and resistance training.

The study concluded that exercise was more effective at reducing body fat and the risk of numerous conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and blood hypertension.

Overall, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the gold standard workout routine for weight loss in the field of fitness. This sort of training belongs to cardiovascular exercises.

 

Physical strength

Although most people think that strength can only be acquired by performing resistance training, cardiovascular training also helps increase your physical strength by improving endurance, regulating metabolism, and increasing VO2 max.

Additionally, cardiovascular training increases articular range of motion, which further optimizes physical strength.

 

Muscle growth

Contrary to popular belief, cardiovascular exercise also promotes muscle hypertrophy and increases lean muscle mass. This is backed up by multiple clinical studies.

Muscle growth is essential for cardiovascular health and for reducing the risk of osteoporosis (more on that later).

Obviously, the effect is not as pronounced compared to strength training. However, it is still significant.

Therefore, it is crucial to mix things up by adding a couple of weight lift sessions to your workout routine.

For instance, you could do 2 cardiovascular training sessions on Monday and Wednesday and 2 strength training sessions on Tuesday and Friday.

 

Takeaway message

Exercise is a great weight loss exercise that benefits everyone who wants to optimize their health and physical endurance.

Hopefully, this article helped you appreciate the benefits of exercise, but if you still have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below.