Fitness
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The key to cardio

Attending to the body’s cardio system is like watering your garden.

photos_articles_11.jpgImagine having a beautiful garden. You have all kinds of wonderful plants and flowers. It can be a bit dry at times and you need to water them all. So you put in a water system to bring life to all those plants. You set up a big conduit to link to big hoses that link to little hoses to feed the garden. It becomes crucial that the main conduit and all the hoses work properly and are clear of all obstructions so the Your cardiovascular system brings life to all parts of your body. The heart pumps the blood and is the conduit to your arteries and they lead to your smaller blood transporters, the capillaries.

If over winter you don’t use your watering system for your garden, when you turn it on in the Spring, all hell breaks lose. Hoses that were attached have fallen off, smaller hoses that worked well in the summer are now constricted and become swelled with water and begin to leak.

This is what can happen if you don’t keep your cardio system running efficiently. Your heart becomes weak, and your arteries and capillaries can become constricted.
The cardiovascular workout is essential to good health. It gets blood flowing, strengthens the heart muscle, and uses up unwanted fat stores.

If you haven’t done any exercise lately, the key is to start slow. Make sure you consult with your physician about your exercise program first.

Start with just five minutes of walking, and gradually add more minutes. The goal is to perform 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least twice a week. This is your baseline.

Cardiovascular exercise is anything that increases your heart rate and gets your blood flowing. It can be as easy as walking or climbing the stairs. You can also bike, spin, jog, or use an elliptical trainer, stair climber or other cardiovascular training machine. Yes, even sex is cardiovascular exercise; just don’t tell your partner you want to have a workout.

The key is to make it happen. This is the basis of your health. You need to keep your garden fed and luscious. You’ll see the results in your energy levels and even your complexion, and you will feel better overall.

Chart - Heart Rate

Next steps

If you are already a seasoned cardio junkie, then you already know that your goal is to improve your endurance and lower your heart rate while at rest.

Cardiovascular exercise is also the number one way to help you lose fat. Together with eating right, cardiovascular exercise will help you slim down.

Cardio exercise is prescribed based on a specific percentage of individual heart rate maximums (HRmax).

To estimate your HRmax, input your age into the following equation, then use that number in the next equations.

Fat burner: The body burns the greatest percentage of fat at 65%-75% HRmax.

Heart booster (Cardio): You get greatest cardiovascular benefits when exercising above 80% HRmax. Training close to your HRmax is not recommended as this level of exercise puts a great deal of strain on the heart and body and can be dangerous.

Track your cardio workouts over time. You will see your endurance and general energy levels improve. This is the basis of all fitness.

Keep your heart pumping and watch your roses and petunias flourish!

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