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Cardio Exercises – All that you should know

 

Cardio is short for cardiovascular, which refers to the heart. Cardiovascular exercise is exercise that raises your heart rate and keeps it elevated for a period of time. Another name for it is aerobic exercise. The kinds of exercise that are associated with cardiovascular workouts are things like jogging, fast walking, and swimming where there is no break in the routine.

The benefits of cardio workouts
• Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration, to facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs.
• Strengthening the heart muscle, to improve its pumping efficiency.
• Strengthening muscles throughout the body.
• Improving circulation efficiency and reducing blood pressure.
• Increasing the total number of red blood cells in the body, facilitating transport of oxygen
• Improved mind body health, includes reducing stress and lowering clinical depression
• Reducing the risk for diabetes.
• Promote peaceful sleep.

In addition to the health benefits of aerobic exercise, there are numerous performance benefits:
• Increased storage of energy molecules such as fats and carbohydrates within the muscles, allowing for increased endurance.
• Neovascularization of the muscle sarcomeres to increase blood flow through the muscles
• Increasing speed at which aerobic metabolism is activated within muscles, allowing a greater portion of energy for intense exercise to be generated aerobically.
• Improving the ability of muscles to use fats during exercise, preserving intramuscular glycogen.
• Enhancing the speed at which muscles recover from high intensity exercise.

Heart Rate during Cardiovascular Exercises.
I have seen so many untrained professional make their clients run on a thread-mill until they are breathless. Too high heart rate can end up damaging the heart rather than being beneficial. One important indicator of your heart rate status and blood circulation is, you ability to talk. If you are too winded to speak comfortably, your heart rate is probably too high and you need to slow down.

How High Should Heart Rate Be?
To get the most out of a cardio workout, you will first want to figure out what your maximum heart rate (beats per minute) is.To do that, subtract your age from 226 for women or 220 for men. Now, you don't want to workout at your maximum heart rate. You want to workout in your target heart rate zone, which the American Heart Association suggests is 50% to 75% of the maximum heart rate for healthy people. You would calculate more toward 50% if you are just getting in shape and more toward 75% if you are in great shape.

Here is a sample calculation for a 40-year-old woman just getting started in cardio workouts.
226 - 40 (her age) = 180 maximum heart rate (beats per minute)
180 x .50 = 90 heart beats per minute as her target heart rate

How Long Should A cardio session last?
How long your cardio sessions should last depends on your level of fitness and your goals. Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity five days per week, or at least 20 minutes of vigorous activity 3 days per week. These are minimums, but you may still need to work up to these levels as you increase your aerobic fitness. The important thing is to begin, continue and stick to a program.

 



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