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The Benefits of Cardio for Men: When to Do It and Best Workouts

The best thing about the world of fitness is that you can choose how you want to pursue it. Some enjoy strength training, while others like to partake in athletics such as gymnastics or track and field. No matter how you decide to reap the benefits and make these improvements to your health, there is one thing you should remember: always do your cardio workouts.

Benefits of cardio for men - Man bulking and doing battle rope cardio workout

Now, you may have heard people disregard cardio, especially in the strength training/bodybuilding community, but it needs to be said that cardio should always have a place in your routine. Maybe not every workout you do, but you should still be engaging once a week at least.

Now, you may be asking a key question: why? Why is cardio so important, especially when routines like strength training burn calories while improving your physical appearance in a prominent way?

Well, wonder no more. We’ll share with you the benefits of cardio for men, as well as some of the best examples of cardio workouts to help you get started on improving your physical health in a way that doesn’t just pertain to burning fat.


Benefits of Cardio For Men

Man running doing cardio workout - benefits of cardio

From strengthening your heart to a nice night’s rest to assistance in bed of a different kind, the benefits of cardio for men are just about endless. By engaging in regular cardio practice, you’re going to see a big improvement in your life.

Here is what you can expect.


Improved Heart Health

The benefits of cardio lie in the very name itself. Cardio workouts improve the health of your cardiovascular system. This means you’ll have an increased blood flow, and not just while you’re working out. Allowing your heart to beat consistently over a long period of time can enhance your cardiovascular system, leading to even more benefits that we’ll soon get into, like endurance and the reduced risk of chronic diseases.

All in all, improved heart health means, in theory, living a longer life.


Increased Endurance

Cardio workouts also greatly affect your endurance. It doesn’t matter how strong you are; the last thing you want is to get winded after a run down the block. Just jogging thirty minutes a day every other day can improve the blood flow into your lungs, giving your body more oxygen to work with.


Stronger Immune System

One of the greatest benefits of cardio is the fact that you’ll be far less susceptible to common diseases. A stronger, healthier body is usually able to fight off common illnesses, such as colds and the flu. With increased blood flow and an increase in hormones such as testosterone, you won’t have to worry about getting sick anytime soon. If you take care of your body, your body takes care of you.

A word of warning, though: overtraining can actually do harm to your immune system. If you don’t give your body the rest it needs, you’re more likely to develop common sicknesses; more so than you would if you didn’t do cardio at all.


Better Sleep

If sleep is something you struggle with often, you should know that aerobic exercises are very helpful with helping you get the rest you need. This is helped by the pumping of your blood and the endorphins released from exercise; not only does it improve your mood, but you’re going to have a better relationship with your bed.

You shouldn’t practice cardio before bed, though. If anything, it can only make your efforts to sleep worse. Keep it for daytime.


Decreased Risk of Chronic Conditions

We’re not joking when we say that cardio can lead to a longer, healthier life. This is because, according to the CDC, a lack of cardiovascular exercise can increase the risk of chronic conditions in men, such as obesity, heart disease, depression, and type 2 diabetes.

While taking a jog every day is not a surefire way to prevent these conditions entirely, your chances of going through life without them will greatly improve.


Improved Sexual Wellbeing

Lastly, it needs to be stated that practicing cardio can also help you in the bedroom. That’s right, cardio can greatly assist how you perform in the bedroom.

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that millions of men live with; approximately 50% of men deal with it. If you happen to be dealing with ED, then you could benefit from regular cardio training. After all, ED has been linked to poor heart health, so by increasing the blood flow to your heart, you could be knocking out two birds with one stone.

Speaking of, decreased libido and sexual desire is an issue men often live with as well. A big factor for decreased libido is age, and while that can’t be helped, you can still increase sexual desire through regular exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce your stress. When you practice cardio regularly, you can increase their overall production, and that includes the hormone testosterone, which plays a big hand in your libido.


Examples of the Best Cardio Workouts

Man doing HIIT

If you’re someone more inclined towards strength training, or you’re just not a fitness buff in general, you may be wondering what fitness options are right for you. When people think of Cardio, they immediately think of the treadmill. However, your options are far more vast, and you need to understand the difference between high impact and low impact cardio workouts. Here are examples of the best cardio workouts.


Continuous Cardio

This type of exercise asks you to keep at a steady pace for around 30 to 60 minutes. Not only is it good for your health for reasons stated previously, but it also helps to manage your weight.

Here are examples of continuous cardio workouts that can help you improve your health.

  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Rowing
  • Elliptical Machine
  • Cycling
  • Sports (ex: Baseball, Basketball, Hokey, Football)
  • Walking on an Incline
  • Climbing Stairs


Plyometrics/Circuit Training

If you want to get your cardio in but still want to build up some clear muscle definition, plyometrics is your ticket to that double feature. Plyometrics is a great way to burn body fat while still reaping the benefits you would get from regular cardio workouts.

If you combine plyometrics with resistance training, you can really do a number on your body fat and further define the muscle you’re building up.

Here are just some of the many examples of plyometric workouts you can follow as part of a circuit training program:

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Mountain Climbers
  • High Knees
  • Butt Kicks
  • Box Jumps
  • Shuttle Runs
  • Burpees
  • Jump Ropes
  • Jogging in Place


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, burn fat, or pack on the muscle, not only does HIIT deliver results, it delivers results quickly.

If you’re unfamiliar, HIIT works by switching between higher and lower intensity cardio exercises. As an example, you would do 30 to 60 seconds of high-intensity training on the elliptical machine, followed by 60 seconds of low intensity ellipticals.

If you’re not familiar with HIIT, then you should start off at just 10 to 15 minutes per session before slowly working your way up to 25 to 30 minutes. You can even go longer, but you shouldn’t over-exert yourself overtraining can end up coming back to bite you.


How Often You Should Engage in Cardio

Cardio Calendar - How often to do cardio

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020, you should be getting at least 150 minutes of cardio a week. If you want to really get the most health benefits you can out of your workouts, then you should aim for 300 minutes a week. Note that you should be doing cardio even if you are in a bulking phase.

This amount of exercise should be spaced out over several days. Performing 2 ½ to 5 hours of cardio training in a day isn’t ideal.

To reach your 150 minute goal, here’s how you can space your cardio training out:

  • 38 minutes per day, 4 days per week
  • 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week
  • 25 minutes per day, 6 days per week

If you’re shooting for a 300 minute goal, then you just need to double the amount of time I provided. You can choose to do your cardio before or after lifting, there are pros and cons to both choices.


Final Thoughts

One of the greatest parts about cardio is that it comes in so many forms, whether it be doing high-intensity workouts on the ellipticals or simply walking up a hill. Not to mention, the benefits of cardio for men should not be downplayed. If you want to live the best life you can, cardio should be a must for you. So, if you’re feeling up for it, go ahead and take a stab at a rowing machine, jump a rope, or take a jog, because in the end, it will only do you good.