Does Cardio Help Prevent Injuries?

Athlete running down sidewalk

Many people focus on cardiovascular exercise as a way to increase their endurance, burn calories, and stay heart-healthy. Indeed, cardio exercise is one of the best forms of working out to boost your overall health. It works your heart just as much as it works your muscles. Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is used for endurance training as well as cross-training, depending on your sport. It’s so important that the CDC recommends two and half hours of moderate aerobic activity every week to increase health benefits:

  • Maintaining or losing weight;
  • Building muscle;
  • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other medical problems;
  • Increasing metabolism, which helps you maintain a healthy weight;
  • Helps manage chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes;
  • Increases your immune system;
  • And, of course, increases your stamina.

Among the various benefits that cardiovascular exercise gives you, there’s one benefit that many people aren’t aware of – injury prevention. As a result of some of its benefits, focusing on cardio exercise helps keep you injury-free.

1. Cardio Exercise Increases Muscle Endurance

It’s not something many people think of when it comes to injury prevention. Usually, many people associate injury prevention with strengthening and avoiding accidents, which is true. However, muscle endurance and stamina are incremental in both preventing accidents and keeping your muscles strong.

Stamina has everything to do with ensuring your muscles are working in your favor. When you get tired, you typically lose form and balance – two risk factors for injuries. Improper form can lead to pain and overuse injuries while losing your balance can result in acute injuries like tears and sprains. However, when you increase your stamina, you’re increasing your ability to maintain correct form and balance. You decrease weaknesses that can lead to injury.

2. Building Muscle And Stamina Means Increasing Efficiency

When you work your cardiovascular system through aerobic exercise, your heart becomes stronger. This means that you pump blood throughout your body more efficiently. A strong cardiovascular system means delivering oxygen and key nutrients to your muscles when they need them the most. Muscles are then able to support your body during high-stress times, like exercising.

When your muscles can work efficiently, they provide your body with the necessary support it needs to work properly. This means an increased ability to move properly, keep good form, and maintain core strength and balance.

3. Improve Muscle Repair & Recovery

Have you ever noticed that when you’re just starting with a fitness routine, you tend to be stiffer? Furthermore, you usually need a longer time to recover. This is mostly due to low or inefficient stamina as well as muscle strength and endurance. When you have lower stamina, your muscles need a longer time to repair themselves, which means you may need a full day to recover. However, if you increase your endurance with cardiovascular exercise, your body becomes more efficient at repairing muscle tissue. This means a decreased recovery time as you increase your recovery efficiency. However, this doesn’t mean you can skip your recovery entirely.

We can’t stress enough how important proper recovery is to injury prevention. Without proper recovery, you can over-train, which can lead to many problems including injury. So regardless of strength or stamina, you still need to give yourself enough time for your muscles to rebuild and repair. The good news is that the more endurance you have from cardio exercise the quicker this rebuilding process is going to be for your muscles to be ready for the next workout.

Stamina, Cardio, And Injury Prevention

Cardio exercise does more than just strengthen your heart and help you breathe more efficiently. It keeps health problems at bay, maintains your weight, and contributes to your overall health. Most importantly, however, it helps you stay injury-free at the gym and during your day. Keeping yourself strong during high-stress times, like during physical activity, means lowering your risk for injury. Stick to cardio and you’ll be able to not only increase your strength but stay strong even when you get tired.