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What is cardiovascular exercise?
Some people refer to Cardiovascular exercise as aerobic exercise, some people even call it 'cardio' for short.
All it amounts to is exercises that involve the large muscles like legs and help make your heart and lungs stronger.
Cardiovascular exercise has lots of health benefits like lowering your blood pressure, and also it can burn lots of calories -
for those of you who want to lose weight.
Cardiovascular exercise is activity involving the large muscles, such as your legs. The word 'aerobic' refers to something
that needs oxygen. During cardiovascular or aerobic exercise oxygen gets continuously delivered to your muscles. Outside
of exercise, terms like 'aerobic bacteria' refer to bacteria that need oxygen to survive, and 'anaerobic bacteria'
are ones that do not need oxygen to stay alive.
To give your heart a proper workout you need to make sure that you do your cardiovacular exercise with a certain amount
of intensity, but you don't want to overdo it. One way measure the amount of exertion while exercising is by monitoring
your heart rate.
You can measure your heart rate manually or with a heart rate monitor. I prefer using a heart rate monitor, but more
about that later. Heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Everyone has a resting heart rate,
which is just what it sounds like - the rate your heart beats per minute while you are resting. Everyone also has a
maximum heart rate, which the maximum amount of times your heart can beat in a minute. Your 'target heart rate zone'
is a range of heart rate that is considered to be the best rate to be in to give your heart a good workout. This range
is between 50% and 85% of your maximum heart rate.
Your maximum heart rate can be determined by a doctor, or you can use a formula to calculate a rough estimate. The most
common way to calculate it is the following:
226 - (your age) = your maximum heart rate
220 - (your age) = your maximum heart rate
For example, if you are a 32 year old woman: substract 32 from 226
226 - 32 = 194
Then take that number and multiply it by .5, to get your lower end of your target zone. And then multiply that same
number by .85 to get the upper end of your zone. For example:
194 x .5 = 97
194 x .85 = 164.9
So, for a 32 year old woman an estimate of her maximum heart rate is 194. And her 'target heart rate zone' is between
97 and 164.9 heart beats per minute.
Other methods exist for calculating your maximum and target zone heart rate, including using a heart rate monitor and
the Karvonen method.
Some related articles about cardiovascular exercise are:
Cardiovascular Exercise Programs
Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise
Types of Cardiovascular Exercise
Easy Cardiovascular Exercises
Cardiovascular Exercises without Equipment
Pregnancy and Exercise DVD's
Jane Fonda Exercise DVD's
Water Aerobic Exercise Videos and DVD's
Cardiovascular Exercises for Children
Legal stuff: The above article is for general information purposes only and is not intended
as a substitute for professional medical care.