Friday, March 13, 2009

12 Weeks to Better Cardiovascular Health

Getting Ready
An Overall Look

When it comes to improving cardiovascular health, many people tend to “wait till tomorrow” and somehow, tomorrow never comes. Many fail to realize the value and importance of improving their cardiovascular/cardiorespiratory systems through direct aerobic and anaerobic type training and therefore, don’t fulfill their overall fitness needs. A misnomer about cardiovascular improvement is that all you need to do is raise your heart rate and you will elicit cardiovascular benefits. To a great extent, this is true, but it’s more about the “how” and “why” you go about it that makes a difference. Allow me to explain. Let’s take a serious scenario such as a person being held at gun point. Obviously, this dangerous and life-threatening situation would surely elevate a person’s heart rate quite a bit, but it isn’t exactly the kind of increased heart rate we were looking for to improve fitness. The reason is this; just elevating the heart rate is only half the battle of improving cardiovascular/cardiorespiratory health (and by the way, I loathe the term “cardio” and will refer to improving one’s cardiovascular/cardiorespiratory system by referring to it as such or use the term “conditioning” or simply, “CV”). A lot of “things” go on when you are moving and breathing heavy such as the improved effectiveness of the circulatory and respiratory systems. Our most important muscle, the heart, becomes enlarged, enabling more blood to be pumped with each stroke. There is also improvement in the amount of oxygen and nutrients that are inhaled and distributed to body tissues. This, coupled with the increased ability to burn calories, reduce tension, lower the risk of coronary heart disease, etc., etc. warrants a good look at doing some “CV” work I’d say.

In part 2 I will discuss the "best" type of CV equipment. - Fred Fornicola