Archive for Cardiovascular Exercise
The 4th annual Ottawa International Walking Festival is scheduled for the weekend of October 22nd and 23rd. It includes a wide range of walking events with various distances (5, 10, 15, 32 kilometre and a half and full marathon).
It sounds like a great event. Bring your most comfortable and supportive walking shoes. And if you are a Nordic Walker bring your poles.
I am a great fan of walking as a key part of your exercise program. I encourage many of my clients to incorporate walking into their day.
The Festival has a website with all of the information you need including registration.
Running is an excellent way to build bone strength and prevent osteoporosis. However, to improve the effectiveness of your run on your bone health, you should vary your running routine with steps that increase impact and change the loading patterns. Studies have shown that sprinters have stronger bones than distance runners. The three alternative steps demonstrated in this video are bounding, high knees and skipping. You can incorporate them into your warm up or include them as part of a run to keep your bones guessing! Short distance running is an excellent exercise choice for people at risk of osteoporosis. Have fun!
An exercise program that promotes bone health will include exercises for balance, flexibility, posture, strength and aerobic (or cardiovascular) conditioning. Each of these exercise groups has a role to play in strengthening your bones and reducing your risk of a fall. A well-designed aerobic conditioning program can have a significant impact on the strength of your bones. Before you start your next aerobic workout, you should take the following points into consideration:
- Your aerobic program should include activities that incorporate weight bearing. Weight bearing exercises are exercises that cause you to carry weight or load through your skeleton.
- Not all exercise activity is equal when it comes to the benefits of weight bearing. For example, brisk walking has been shown to build bone but not as much as more intense physical activities such as martial arts, hockey or gymnastics. The more demanding the activity is on your bones, the stronger your bones will become.
- The weight bearing activities you incorporate into your exercise program should be consistent with your current level of fitness. If gardening has been your primary physical activity, then a brisk evening walk would likely be an appropriate start for you instead of playing basketball or jumping rope.
- Your choice of exercise should be based on a number of health considerations—this includes the health of your bones and their ability to resist a fracture. If your bones are fragile and are at a high risk of fracture, then the weight bearing exercises you choose will be very different than those selected by someone who is at a low risk of fracture.
Putting Weight Bearing into your Aerobic Workout
Examples of activities that would be appropriate for someone who is at a high risk of fracture and wanting maximum bone building benefit include:
- Brisk walking
- Nordic walking
- Stair climbing
- Low impact aerobics
Someone at a moderate risk of fracture and wishing to experience maximum bone building benefit include:
- Running or jogging
- Jumping rope
A person with a low risk of fracture has a wider array of activities to choose from. More strenuous activities should be part of their aerobic program, including:
- Martial Arts
Finding Out Your Fracture Risk
A bone mineral density test, also known as a Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA), along with your family history, medication history, age and gender are used to help determine your risk for a fracture.
If you are comfortable using the web to research your health information, you can go to my web site www.melioguide.com to take a fracture risk questionnaire. At the conclusion of the questionnaire, you will be given your fracture risk and assigned a free comprehensive exercise program based on your fracture risk and activity level.
Following a bone building aerobic exercise program will not only help you strengthen your bones, it will also help you build muscle, lose fat, reduce back pain and make you fitter and firmer.
Regardless of the sport we play or the job we do we all need to maintain good cardiovascular health. How do we determine the fitness level of our heart and circulatory system? This Health Brief has been prepared by Function to Fitness Physiotherapy and Personal Training to assist you to develop an exercise program that incorporates a healthy level of cardiovascular training.
Before we start, we highly recommend that you consult with your physician before you undertake any strenuous exercise, particularly if you have had health problems in the past.
How do I determine if my heart is healthy?
There are three things that provide us with an easy insight into the health of our heart and vascular system:
- Resting Heart Rate
- Blood Pressure
- Exercise Recovery Time
1. Resting Heart Rate (RHR):
Did you know that your heart pumps blood through a 168,000-mile journey through all your veins and arteries about 100,000 times every day? When your heart is strong it pumps fewer times. The average individual has a RHR of 72 beats per minute. World-class marathon runners have resting heart rates in the low 40′s range—that’s a lot of saved beats a day!
Your heart is responsible for making sure your 45 trillion cells in your body get the nourishment they need. Your RHR is easy to monitor and should be checked once a month. The best way to calculate your RHR is in the morning while in bed before you start moving around.
- Locate your pulse either at your wrist or the side of your neck.
- Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get the rate per minute
- Write down your RHR on your training log
- Be consistent by testing at the same time of day.
2. Blood Pressure:
Your blood pressure measures the force exerted by your blood against the walls of your arteries. When your heart contracts, the pressure of the blood increases. The first reading that you get when taking your blood pressure is called systolic pressure. When your heart relaxes between beats, the pressure levels off and this pressure is referred to as diastolic pressure. An individual’s blood pressure can vary greatly both on a daily basis and a seasonal basis
The World Health Organization has established standards for blood pressure. The normal range for Systolic pressure is 110 to 140 mmHg and for diastolic pressure it is 85 to 90 mmHg.
3. Recovery Time:
The length of time it takes your heart to return to (or close to) its pre-exercise rate is your recovery time. As you become more fit (in a cardiovascular sense) you will strengthen your heart and make the transition from exertion to rest easier. A fit heart should have a recovery time of 3 minutes or less.
How do you exercise your cardiovascular system?
Any physical activity that elevates your heart into its training range and sustains it for a minimum of 20 minutes*, 3 times per week, is an appropriate minimum level of exercise for your heart.
* Studies show that a cumulated time is as beneficial as a solid workout time
Below is a formula used to determine your target heart rate training zone.
Age predicted maximum heart rate (APMHR) = 220 -(your age)
The acceptable training range for most individuals is 60 – 90 % of APMHR.