Cardio Improves Health
Walking, swimming, bicycling, hiking. Some of the simplest and least equipment-intense activities can provide excellent cardio/endurance exercise. Cardio Improves Health
Cardio/endurance exercises improve your body’s ability to deliver oxygen and increase the ability of your tissues and organs to absorb oxygen and nutrients. When you do these exercises, you can feel your heart rate increasing and your breathing get faster. After exercising for a few weeks, you’ll be able to exercise more intensely and for longer and be less winded. You will also be able to perform your everyday tasks more easily.
Experts recommend that we do 30 minutes of cardio/endurance exercise every day. And it’s okay to split this into three 10-minute periods, especially when you’re just beginning.
In addition to the activities above, cardio/endurance exercise can include dancing, exercise videos, water aerobics and the elliptical machine. Check out your local senior center, YMCA or gym for classes that provide cardio/endurance exercise in many types – then pick the activity you like the most.
Monitoring Your Heart Rate
Experts recommend that when you start a cardio/endurance exercise routine, you increase your heart rate to 50 percent above your normal resting heart rate. Then you can gradually work up to an 85 percent increase over your normal resting heart rate.
You can find your normal resting heart rate by putting your fingers on your wrist, neck or temple. Count the beats of your heart for 10 seconds while you’re looking at a clock. Multiply that number by six to calculate your normal resting heart rate per minute. Make sure to take this measure when you’ve been sitting or lying quietly, not after exertion or activity. If you can’t “find” your heart rate, ask the nurse at your doctor’s office or another health or fitness professional to help you.
To find out how much to increase your heart ratewith exercise, take your heart rate when you’re exercising and immediately upon completing your exercises.
If you’re so inclined, you can buy a personal heart rate monitor which digitally monitors your heart rate while you exercise. Usually you strap these on your wrist and view your heart rate on a digital read-out. If you belong to a gym, you may find that some of the exercise equipment comes with heart rate monitors. Typically you place your hands on metal bars and hold them in place until your heart rate appears on a screen.
A Word About Walking
Walking, probably the oldest exercise in the world, is one of the most valuable cardio-endurance exercises around. It’s an activity that’s inexpensive, easy to do almost anywhere, easy to start, and it hardly ever results in injuries.
Before you start walking, make sure your clothes are comfortable and loose. Wear layers since you’ll warm up as you get moving. It’s best to buy shoes specifically designed for walking. These have breathable upper materials (usually leather), a comfortable padded heel and a heel counter that surrounds your heels to provide stability. They’re designed with soles that absorb shock, good arch support and should be purchased to have plenty of room for your toes.
NOTE: Always talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. very type of exercise is not appropriate for all people, especially if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes. And it’s important that you start slowly with any physical activity.
About the Author
Jeff has been the CEO of Senior.com for 12 years. Senior.com has grown under Jeff’s leadership, in fact when the website was first launched, the member base grew form Zero to over 700,000 in less the 3 years. Current, has over 1,600,000 registered members.
Jeff received his MBA degree in Managerial Finance and Investor Relations from the University of Phoenix and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Finance and Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.View All Articles