Latest posts

Forum Statistics

Latest Member
What's New?

Cardiovascular Training



Sep 12, 2010
Cardiovascular exercise is an integral part of any athlete's fitness program. The benefits from aerobic training are boundless! The list of benefits include increasing energy, metabolic increase, gain of muscle and strength, and decrease of anxiety and depression. Cardiovascular exercise has also been shown to help reduce the chance of a variety of medical conditions, including diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis and heart disease.

Aerobic conditioning benefits everyone!

Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to benefit every age group. Special consideration for persons with medical conditions should be addressed when designing a program. You are advised to consult your doctor for medical clearance before implementing an exercise program.

Intensity Duration Frequency

Performing aerobic training at the correct level of intensity is essential. Exercise too light, and lose the results you desire. Exercise too hard and risk overtraining and the risk of injury. One of the best ways to achieve the appropriate level of intensity is to measure you heart rate. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a simple and safe way to aerobically train is in your heart rate zone.

The equation 220 - (your age) = Maximum Heart Rate (The maximum number of times your heart cam beat in a minute). By multiplying that number by .55 and by .90, you will find your personal heart rate training zone. Aerobic training zone occurs between 60% and 80% of your maximum heart rate. In the aerobic zone, 85% of the calories burned are from fat. In the 80%-90% of your training zone, 85% of the calories burned are from carbohydrates. The heart rate monitor is the best way to measure your heart rate. Taking your pulse for 10 seconds and multiplying by 6 is an alternative. This can become cumbersome during activity.

The suggested duration of performing aerobic activity is 20 - 60 minutes (to gain significant aerobic and fat-burning benefits). Small progression of time (5-10% per month) is advisable if you are starting a program after living a sedentary lifestyle.

Warm up and cool down are important activities in your aerobic program. Warm up at least 5-10 minutes at 50-60% of your target heart rate. By allowing your body to warm up, you increase body temperature and warm joints to help prevent risk of muscle and ligamentous injury. Cool down brings your physiological system back to its resting level. This should last about 5-10 minutes.

Frequency refers to the number of exercise sessions per week. To improve your aerobic fitness level, you should exercise at least 3 days a week. The ACSM recommends 3-5 days per week for optimum results.

Anyone beginning a cardiovascular program is advised to increase duration of exercise before increasing intensity to avoid injury to skeletal muscles and excess stress to the heart.

Aerobic Activities

Aerobic activity is any exercise that uses large muscle groups, demands oxygen, and rhythmically continues for a period of 20 minutes or longer in your aerobic training zone(60-80% of maximum heart rate).

The types of aerobic activity and exercises are endless. Brisk walking, jogging, swimming and biking are a few of the common activities. The list continues on to include skiing, jumping rope, skating, dancing, kick boxing and many others! What is of prime importance is to pick an activity you enjoy!

To sum it up:

1. Pick an aerobic activity you enjoy
2. Intensity:Train in your Heart Rate Zone (60-80% of maximum heart rate)
3. Duration: 20-60 minutes with 5-10 minute warm up and cool down
4. Frequency: 3-5 times per week
5. Consult your doctor before beginning any program for medical clearance

[Kristia Knowles]