How healthy is your heart?

You shouldn’t get tired from vacuuming, and increasing aerobics activity that you do will improve your overall energy. When you are fit aerobically your heart is stronger, pumping more blood with each pulse and with fewer heartbeats. People who aren’t fit may find that they are fighting for breath when performing normal, daily activities.

Besides increasing your stamina and energy levels, cardio activities improve your cardiovascular health. This means that this type of exercise will decrease your risk of heart disease, heart attack and general coronary problems that are associated with aging.

The fitness of your heart is essential not only to your overall quality of life but also to the length of your life. A healthy heart leads naturally to your healthy longevity.

Besides increasing your stamina and energy levels, aerobic activities improve your cardiovascular health. This means that aerobic exercises will decrease your risk of heart disease, heart attack and general coronary problems that are associated with aging.

The fitness of your heart is essential not only to your overall quality of life but also to the length of your life. A healthy heart leads naturally to your healthy longevity.

How often should I exercise? and at what level?

This is where it’s important to know what your fitness goals and current levels of fitness actually are. Would you put yourself in the Couch Potato Category? If so, you need to start slowly and work your way up to wherever you want to be. Are you already semi-active but you want more stamina and flexibility?

Find out what your fitness levels are before you begin any fitness program. You can use the chart below to give you some idea of where you are, but it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor or trusted health practitioner before starting anything new and/or radical.

To use this chart, do step-ups for three minutes. (To do a step-up, simply step up one stair and then back down, as quickly as possible.) Pause for 30 seconds after your 3 minutes of step-ups before taking your pulse and then check your results with the chart below.

Warning! If you have any history of or any currently existing health problems, check with your doctor before taking any physical test or starting any fitness program.

Pulse rate chart

Experts suggest a minimum of three sessions of aerobic exercises each week. Every session should be at least 20 minutes in duration. You can move up to 30 minute sessions as your stamina improves.

The main idea of aerobic exercise is to get your heart rate up. This kind of exercise focuses on working your larger muscles – arms, legs, chest and gluteals. Even if you’re a beginner at aerobic exercise, the benefits of a brisk walk (3 times a week) will improve your cardiovascular health. Improving your heart’s health will increase your circulation and blood flow to all your organs and your skin. You’ll look better AND feel better.

Here are some types of aerobic training that you can try.

Interval Training

Interval training involves alternating short intense bursts of an exercise followed by longer periods of the same exercise. For example, after a warm up session for several minutes, you might cycle as hard as you can for 30 seconds or so, followed by a slower pace for a couple of minutes before repeating the process.

You will find that as you become more fit your recovery times will become shorter. And you’ll never get bored with interval training! (Even if you’re just walking, you could walk faster for a few minutes and then slow down … and then repeat and repeat and repeat.)

Cross Training

It’s important to participate in a variety of exercises in order to use different muscle groups. Changing exercise activities helps avoid stress on muscles and joints from repeated use.

Workout chart

Various Types of Cardio Equipment

Stationary Bike

  • Easy to use and great for beginners. Try the interval training techniques to burn more calories. You can read while exercising!

Stair Climber

  • Excellent for cardio development but can be tricky to get used to. Good for developing balance and coordination too.

Treadmill

  • Safe, easy to use and you can set your own pace. Many styles will let you set the incline level and increasing the resistance level gives you more of a workout. Use the incline feature in intervals.

Rowing Machine

  • Adjustable resistance – you set the level of difficulty. Great for upper and lower body strength and endurance training.

Elliptical Trainer

  • Similar to the stair climbing machine except that the pedals rotate to create an experience similar to riding a bicycle standing up. Can be difficult to master initially but provides a great cardio workout once you’ve got your balance on it.

Cross Country Ski Machine

  • Simulates the experience of cross-country skiing, providing an excellent workout for your upper and lower body because you’re working the poles as well as the skis.

Now to get started! Try out a number of the machines at a gym or community center and see which ones you like the best, and then it’s time to develop a routine that suits the unique you!

Click on Aerobics to return to the Exercise page.

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