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Yes, Cardiovascular Workouts Are Essential To Good Health-00-669

Author : Paul Rodgers

Submitted : 2008-11-05 00:00:00    Word Count : 684    Popularity:   45

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As you probably remember from basic health classes, cardiovascular refers to the heart, so cardio exercises are those that elevate the heart rate and keep it elevated for sustained periods of time.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends three to five days a week for most cardiovascular exercise programs. For cardiovascular benefits, aim for 20 to 60 minutes in your target heart rate zone, apart from the time you spend in warm-up and cool-down.

A combination of cardiovascular work and resistance training can help burn fat and build muscle. Resistance training instigates heart-healthy changes in the cardiovascular system, such as allowing more blood to get to the muscles and enabling waste products to be cleared more efficiently.

Cardiovascular workouts

Cardiovascular workouts are good for increasing overall fitness, losing weight, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and particularly for improving heart and lung performance. Moreover, cardiovascular workouts are also easy to do and they would not really require you to use various exercise equipments just so you can do them.

To increase stamina and keep your endorphins (those "feel good hormones") flowing, cardiovascular workouts are advised three to five days a week for at least 20 to 30 minutes at a time. These hard cardiovascular workouts are great for increasing metabolism for 4-12 hours or more.

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. Additional aerobic activities that you can include in your cardiovascular workouts are hiking, swimming and elliptical training.

Resistance Training

The goal of resistance training, according to the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), is to "gradually and progressively overload the musculoskeletal system so it gets stronger. Resistance training is a form of strength training in which each effort is performed against a specific opposing force generated by resistance (i.Resistance exercise is used to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles).

At a minimum, a resistance training session that works the entire body could be completed Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Saturday. The elastic resistance band is a portable alternative to weights for strength training. Spinning class combines resistance training with a cardiovascular workout.

Health Benefits

There is a hefty list of health benefits associated with doing cardio exercise. The benefits of cardiovascular exercise are not limited to weight loss and beauty, but are an important part of your everyday health and fitness. While you will still have the benefits of burning calories, if you exercise for less than 20 minutes in your zone, the best fitness benefits come from setting aside the 20 to 60 minutes to spend in the aerobic zone.

Here are some top reasons to include cardio in your workout routine:
It strengthens the heart
It strengthens the lungs and increases lung capacity
It boosts the metabolism, burns calories, and helps you lose weight
It helps reduce stress
It increases energy
It promotes restful sleep

Now that you are convinced of the benefits of cardio exercise, you might be wondering: "How high does my heart rate have to be and how long do I keep it there?"

Aerobic state

During your aerobic state, you'll want to make sure that your heart rate is at 50% to 85% of your maximum rate. To determine your maximum heart rate, follow these easy steps.

Step One: 220 - your age = your maximum heart rate.
Step Two: Maximum heart rate x .50 = low end of maximum heart rate.
Step Three: Maximum heart rate x .85 = high end of maximum heart rate.

You must be between 50% and 85% to be in an aerobic state. If your heart rate is below 50% then you need to increase your workout. Conversely, if you are above 85%, slow it down.
* Target heart rate calculator

Conclusion

If you workout six days a week, like you should, you could do a one hour cardiovascular workout for three days in the week, and then on the other three days you could do both cardio and weight lifting for thirty minutes each. The key to creating a successful cardiovascular exercise program is choosing activities that you will enjoy, and that can easily be incorporated into your day.

Author's Resource Box

The benefits of cardiovascular exercise are not limited to weight loss and beauty, but are an important part of your everyday health and fitness. The key to creating a successful cardiovascular exercise program is choosing activities that you will enjoy, and that can easily be incorporated into your day. Find out more about Cardiovascular Workouts

Paul Rodgers specializes in marketing natural health anf beauty products




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