A proper cardiovascular conditioning program can make a significant difference in your fitness results. Unfortunately, most people get caught up in the mindset that either walking will be all of the cardiovascular activity they will ever need, or they think they need to run like they did when they were in high school. Take a moment to learn more about how your cardiovascular activity affects your health.
Benefits of Cardiovascular Activity
Cardiovascular exercise has a wide range of benefits for your body. Benefits include:
- Decreased Blood Pressure
- Decreased Resting Heart Rate
- Increased Recovery Heart Rate
- Decreased Fatigue
- Increased Endurance
- Increased Insulin Sensitivity
- Increased Lung Function
- Decreased Effects of Stress
- Increased Stamina
- Increased Cardiac Output
- Increased Stroke Volume
- Types of Cardiovascular Activity
There are a wide range of various types of cardiovascular activities you choose from. Some of them can be performed outside, inside a gym, or even at home. The type of cardiovascular activity you choose is not as important as how you apply it to your routine. However, you must find a cardiovascular exercise that you will enjoy and are willing to do. If you don’t enjoy it, you are not likely to stick with it.
When choosing an activity, consider some of these conventional options:
- Rowing Machine
- Stair Climber
- Aerobics Class
You can also try some unconventional options:
- Playing Frisbee
- Martial Arts/Karate
- Kickboxing Class
- Spinning (Indoor Cycling)
- Touch Football
Frequency of Cardiovascular Activity
It’s important to do some type of activity every day of the week if possible. Ideally, you should aim for 3-5 times a week of cardiovascular activity. However, if you are just beginning an exercise program, you should start with something that is manageable for your lifestyle and slowly build up over time. Being a beginner, trying to go for a run every single day of the week is not reasonable. Start three times a week and slowly work your way up to a more frequent level. If you have trouble doing cardiovascular activity 3 times a week, trying to increase it even higher will only frustrate you and cause you to eventually quit.
Intensity of Cardiovascular Activity
There is a lot of debate about the intensity of cardiovascular activity that you should do. Some will argue that just cleaning your house or gardening will be enough to help you in get in shape. Others insist that the best way to get in shape is to get a heart rate monitor and stay in your proper heart rate zones. Others suggest you should do stairs and sprints in order to get in great shape quickly.
But what really works?
If you study the research, you will find that the most effective cardiovascular activity intensity is actually interval training. They have compared groups and watched closely to see who would see the most results over a period of time. The results have shown time and time again that interval training produced results at a more rapid pace than steady state heart rate training. Depending on your age and fitness level, interval training can mean a variety of things.
Interval training is simply increasing the heart rate for a short period of time, followed up by a lower heart rate for a predetermined period of time. This cycle is repeated over and over again throughout the workout.
Common ratios of interval training are:
- 3:1 (90 seconds of moderate activity: 30 seconds of intense activity)
- 2:1 (60 seconds of moderate activity: 30 seconds of intense activity)
- 1:1 (30 seconds of moderate activity: 30 seconds of intense activity)
Time of Cardiovascular Activity
The amount of time you invest into your cardiovascular activity should increase from when you first begin. When you first start working out, 10-15 minutes of cardiovascular activity might be a hard workout. However, you should be able to work yourself up to 20-30 minutes of non-stop cardiovascular activity without needing a break.
Your cardiovascular activity choices can make a big difference in your results. If you want to improve your health by improving your cardiovascular activity, contact us today.