Exercise is vital in maintaining good health. Cardiovascular disease, specifically, helps ward off diseases such as hypertension, heart disease and stroke. This is because they increase work of the heart and the lungs. Common types of cardiovascular exercises include running, walking and jogging.
Cardiovascular exercise has many benefits. It can reduce the risk for heart disease, improve blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improve heart function, improve muscle mass, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Experts even recommend having about 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week. They recommend to have exercise lasting for about 20 to 60 minutes every three to five days of the week.
Cardiovascular exercise aims to keep your heart healthy while increasing muscle and losing fat. Cardiovascular fitness may be enjoyed with exercise lasting at a minimum of 20 minutes a day for three to four times a week. To know whether you are truly maximizing your exercise, take your pulse halfway during your cardio workout for six seconds then add a zero to that number obtained. This number is termed as your heart rate per minute. The next thing to do is to calculate your zone. This may be calculated by subtracting your age from the number 220, and then calculating 70% of the answer for your target beats per minute. If during exercise your heartbeat is over 70% of your zone, you should slow down, while if it is under 70%, you should go faster. A pulse monitor during your workout is helpful. Or, alternately, you may talk while you are exercising. If you cannot finish talking a sentence during exercise, you may be overdoing it, so you should slow down.
Physical Activity in Children
For children and young adults, 60 minutes of physical activity per day is enough. They should be encouraged to do activities which are a good fit for their age and for their physical development. Play during recess can be counted as physical activity. These children and young adults should indulge in moderately intense physical activities such as running, walking, skipping rope, playing sports and biking. During at least three days of the week, they should do vigorous intensity activities for at least three days of the week. These vigorous activities include fast swimming, jumping jacks and running. Also, muscle strengthening activities should be included during three days of the week, such as pushups, pull-ups and tug of war.
Bone strengthening activities should also be included during three days of the week, which should include hopping, skipping, jumping jacks, volleyball and working with resistance bands. Children with disabilities should work closely with their doctors regarding the type and amount of physical activities that is considered safe for them. They should follow the recommendations in the guidelines for their condition. Parents and caregivers should limit the number of hours spent in front of the television or the computer as this may contribute to obesity.
Physical Activity in Middle Aged Adults
A recent study shows that young adults who participate in cardio fitness activities may preserve their memory and thinking skills even after they have reached middle age. The results of this study were published in the April 2, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. This is why the researchers advise young adults to indulge in cardio fitness activities such as running, swimming, biking or cardio fitness classes. This study gathered data from 2,747 healthy people with an average age of 25 who underwent treadmill tests the first year of the study and then again 20 years later. The results showed that 20 years later, the participants decreased their time on the treadmill. The researchers also noted that for every additional minute the participants spent on the treadmill, they were able to perform well on memory tests regardless of other factors such as smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol. This is why cardiorespiratory fitness is recommended for people of all ages.
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