Anyone who has done a Vive workout knows that most of our classes include a short but tough cardio component. This is usually in the form of a HIIT burst (high intensity interval training).

Sometimes we hear some of you say ‘we wish we could skip the cardio. We’re just here for the reformer pilates’. But here’s why we won’t budge and why cardio will always be on the menu at Vive.

It improves your immune system

Scientists have discovered in recent years that cardio exercise stimulates cells that support your immune system. As a result, this protects you against disease (including auto-immune disease) and viruses. What’s more, research has consistently found decreased levels of inflammatory biomarkers in adults with higher levels of physical fitness, even after adjustment for potential confounders such as their BMI.

Stronger immunity and lower inflammation? Yup, cardio definitely gives you that.

It boosts your mood

There are clear links between cardio exercise and mental health, including better mood states. Numerous studies have found that even short bursts of cardio – as little as just 5 minutes – can have a big impact on mood, triggering anti-anxiety responses in your body and reducing symptoms of depression.

Your brain loves it

Your brain starts losing tissue after the age of 30. One study looked at the health of a group of over 55 year olds, including their aerobic fitness. Those who were most fit showed fewer reductions in the frontal, parietal, and temporal areas of the brain. Overall, their brain tissue was more robust.

You sleep better

Scientists have now established that cardio exercise improves sleep quality as well as sleep duration, which is our absolute best friend when it comes to health support and anti aging.

The best bit is that studies show that cardio exercise increases our deep sleep – the most physically restorative sleep phase. Deep sleep helps to boost immune function, support cardiac health, and control stress and anxiety.

You live longer

Aerobic exercise has now been linked to a longer lifespan. In the words of world-leading longevity expert Dr David Sinclair: ‘We found that longevity genes are turned on by high intensity exercise. Being out of breath for 10 minutes every day or every other day is linked to a reduction in different diseases – certainly heart disease. My understanding is that we used to think you had to be a marathon runner to get the full benefits of exercise, but short, high intensity interval training seems to be almost as good. And the worst thing you can do for aging is to never get out of breath.’

So, yes, here at Vive we’re going to make you sweat and be out of breath – and, yes, you can thank us for it when you have improved mood, sleep and immunity all year round, plus you’re still in good health in your nineties.