Good Cardio Exercise

 

Many people are strapped for time. Adding a workout in may be more stressful on the short term so what is the health conscious person to do when they want to workout but circumstances are preventing it?

It’s not often I let the words “circumstances are preventing” but lets face it – life happens. We all have situations that pop up unexpectedly and throw off our best laid plans. One way to deal with life is to have a plan to deal with unexpected situations. Think through your goals, your routines, and possible obstacles. Think about how you will work around those twists in your fitness routines. If after the best planning you are still thrown for a loop try using METS.

METS stands for metabolic equivalents. These are units of energy used to measure how much “work” our body is doing. Work can be anything from vacuuming to sleeping to running a 5k. Each activity is assigned a MET. This MET value lets you know approximently how hard you are working. By tracking your METS you may find you are able to add cardiovascular work into your daily life activities without adding more time to your day.

Here’s a link to a MET activity chart and explanation of how a MET is calculated.
http://healthfullife.umdnj.edu/archives/METsTbl.htm

*NOTE: METS are based on a VO2MAX value for most people. Because it is a value for most people it is an estimate of work for you. Also, if you have specific goals in mind METS may not be the right way to accomplish them. See a personal trainer or your health care person for more information on what is right for you.

 

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A Look at Heart Disease

Cardiovascular health is incredibly important. With February drawing near I thought it appropriate to discuss heart disease, today. Heart disease is the number one killer in America. It kills more people than cancer. What are you doing to protect yourself?

Eight out of eleven risk factors are lifestyle choices, so you do have a choice. There are genetic factors as well, but with the scale tipped greatly toward your daily choices, t is important to understand you have a choice. The three you cannot control are: increasing age, gender, and race. The ones you control: tobacco smoke – especially cigarettes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and overweight, and diabetes. In addition are these two: too much stress and too much alcohol. Physical inactivity is a factor in six of those listed above. Hmmm, the answer seems pretty clear to me, make sure you move your body every day. Begin at your level and exercise, plus make healthy choices when choosing foods and then make sure you eat them!

To strengthen the heart, lungs, and vascular systems we perform cardiovascular training. Choose activities that make you breathe harder and make you sweat, which you can sustain over a period of time. What activities can you do to raise your heart rate? Walk, run, ride a bike (without a motor), swim, rollerblade, climb stairs, play tag with your kids, the list is long and limitless as long as it raises and sustains your heart rate.