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Stay Heart Healthy with Regular Cardio Exercise

August 10, 2011

Different types of exercise benefit different aspects of your health. If you want to improve your cardiovascular health, it is recommended that you perform cardio exercises regularly. Cardio exercise is a form of aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate. It gives your heart and lungs a good workout and improves blood flow throughout your body.

According to the American Heart Association, cardio exercise involves constant and repetitive movements of the arms and legs. Some of the activities that can be considered cardio exercises are jogging, speed walking, swimming, biking, playing tennis, ice skating, and others. 

Cardio Exercise for Heart HealthCardio exercise can make your heart and lungs healthier and stronger, and reduce the risk of heart disease. It also boosts your metabolism and improves your body’s ability to burn calories, and therefore, it is a very effective way to lose weight. Additionally, it can increase your energy levels, making you more active and productive throughout the day. Cardio exercise also provides great stress relief and promotes restful sleep.

In order to get the most out of your cardio workouts, you need to know the three characteristics of cardio exercise, which are Frequency, Intensity, and Time frame (FIT). Frequency is defined by the number of times you perform cardio exercise within a certain period of time. Depending on your weight and fitness goals, it is advisable that you do cardio exercise three times or more every week. As for intensity, the American Council of Exercise recommends that you perform your cardio exercise at 50% to 85% of your maximum physical capacity. The time frame for each cardio exercise session can vary from 20 minutes to one hour, depending on your experience and the type of exercise. It is best that you try to exercise for 30 minutes or more during each workout session.

Photo by: Ryan Harvey