Intro to Cardiovascular Fitness
I’m sure you have heard about cardio exercise, also known as aerobic exercise. The name refers to the energy pathway in the body that is used. Aerobic meaning, requiring oxygen to meet the energy demands of the body. Aerobic exercise is extremely important in overall health and has many benefits.
Cardiovascular exercise generally includes medium to long distance running, jogging, walking, skiing, cycling, swimming, and rowing.
Other cardiovascular exercises include elliptical, stair climbing, dancing, kick boxing, stepping, and other cardio based classes like Zumba or Turbo kick.
How often and of what intensity should you do aerobic exercise
The frequency of aerobic exercise should be about 3-5x a week. The more often, the better for your health.
The intensity can range from low to high. Wearing a heart rate monitor during aerobic exercise is very helpful to measure your intensity. I recommend between 60-85% of your maximum heart rate.
To find your maximum heart rate:
Hrmax = 220- age
Example a 20 year old would have a HR max of 200.
60% = 120 (200 x .60=120)
80% = 170 (200 x .80=170)
Benefits of Cardiovascular exercise
- Keep extra weight off– Burning extra calories; along with diet makes it easier to lose weight and keep it off
- Strengthen your heart– The heart muscles become stronger so that the heart doesn’t have to beat as fast to deliver blood.
- Boost your mood– Cardiovascular exercise has shown in research to boost self-esteem and ease depression and anxiety.
- Helps you live longer– studies have shown that individuals that participate in cardiovascular exercise, live longer than those who do not exercise regularly.
- Keeps your arteries healthy– Exercise boosts high density lipoprotein, HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. It also lowers your low density lipoprotein, LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol. This helps to prevent fatty plaque from building up in the arteries.
- Reduce health risks– Aerobic exercise decreases the chance of developing certain conditions including: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke and certain types of cancer.
Start slow if you’re a beginner, this will prevent any overuse injuries.
Get a doctor’s OK to participate in any new exercise program.
Get a customized cardiovascular program from a personal trainer, like myself.
What do you like to do for cardio exercise? How long do you aerobically exercise? Comment below.