Power Down Therapy Ltd.

HEALING THERAPIES IN Westmanstown, Dublin 15

10 Reasons to do Cardio

Of all the options for training you have in the gym; cardio can be the most ‘Marmite’. Whether you love it or hate it, the benefits of incorporating some cardio workouts into your schedule are indisputable…


  • It’s great for your heart health. Your cardiovascular system pumps blood containing oxygen, nutrients and waste products around your body. Cardio exercise strengthens this heart pump and allows it to beat at maximum efficiency whilst lowering the effort needed to do this. Also, if you have elevated levels of cholesterol, cardio exercise can help lower the ‘bad’ (HDL) cholesterol, and elevate the ‘good’ (LDL) cholesterol in the blood, keeping it clearer and less likely to block the arteries. Post cardiac event, such as an MI or myocardial infarction, an exercise programme is one of the key stages in the early recovery period.
  • Exercise, whether strength or cardio, can lower the level of sugar in the blood. Excess sugar is bad news, as insulin production has to increase to regulate it, increasing your chances of contracting type II diabetes. Keeping sugar levels stable also has significant benefits on your body composition, lowering fat deposits and reducing your chances of heart disease, stroke and insulin resistance.
  • It enhances mood and reduces stress. In a recent survey, participants with depression were asked to walk on a treadmill for thirty minutes a day for two weeks. Asked to describe their mood post exercise, every single participant reported a significant reduction in their depressive feelings, with some even reporting elation! And the great news was that this mood elevation happened after the very first session of exercise, so no waiting around to build up the positive effects.
  • A better brain! Again, many studies have reported that fitness can be directly linked to improved cognitive function. Brain tissue is lost steadily after the age of 30, and exercise has been proved to slow this down in the frontal, parietal and temporal areas of the brain. Plus, exercise enhances REM sleep which has now been linked to Alzheimer’s prevention.
  • It strengthens your immune system. Cardio exercise, done frequently and moderately, causes certain antibodies in the blood called immunoglobulins to multiply, which ultimately results in a robust immune system. Who doesn’t want that right now?
  • It improves sleep patterns. Exercise has been successfully prescribed as an antidote – along with education on sleep hygiene – to those with chronic sleep issues. Better night sleep also equals improved daytime wakefulness and vitality.
  • Regular cardio exercise will change and improve your body shape. It can be a long haul if you’re not changing your diet, but engaging in moderate activity can burn 400 – 600 calories a session, so if you’re engaging in, say, five classes a week, you’ll be losing up to 3,000 calories!
  • Improved lung function. Exercise will definitively help with respiratory disorders such as asthma, COPD, long Covid, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary fibrosis. Different intensity levels apply, but all will benefit from low impact movement under specialist guidance.
  • Better pain management. Working with clients with chronic pain ranging from back pain to fibromyalgia through to post-surgical rehab, all benefit from a carefully curated exercise programme.
  • It’s fun! Exercise can be sociable, engaging, even laughter-provoking. Great for your general mental health!


When embarking on an exercise programme remember these few guidelines:

  • Speak to your GP for medical clearance especially if you have an underlying condition, or are returning after a long gap, surgery, or pregnancy.
  • Start slowly and build up gradually. 10-20 minutes every other day from a standing start will be do-able and you’ll suffer less from overuse aches and injuries.
  • Get expert help and advice from one of our trainers.
  • Keep it varied and interesting. Find out what sort of activity suits you and your body, but mix it up, say, swimming, jogging and maybe a class or two.
  • If you suffer from diabetes, make sure you have a snack to hand, and measure your blood sugars before and after exercise. If you have asthma, remember your inhaler and stick to short bouts of moderate activity to build up your endurance safely.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that moves with your body and doesn’t restrict or hinder movement. It’s not a catwalk out there, we just want clothes that hold us in at the right places, cover the wrong places and do justice to the rest…


  • Kathy O’Meara is a personal trainer specialising in cancer and cardiac exercise rehabilitation. She holds the National Qualification in Pre and Post Natal Exercise. She is a sports therapist, movement specialist, reflexologist and teaches a range of Les Mills classes at West Wood Club, Westmanstown powerdown.ie

Follow her on Instagram: @kathyomearapt or Facebook: Power Down



©2022 Kathy O'Meara

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