|AREAS OF INTEREST: CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING, WALKING, AQUA JOGGING, CROSS-TRAINING.
by: Tom Seabourne Ph. D
If your goal is to be fit and healthy, cardiovascular (CV) exercise can be an important step. CV exercise can combat obesity, high blood pressure, and glucose intolerance. Twenty minutes of walking, three or four times a week is the most effective way to improve the efficiency of your CV system. Your CV system includes your heart, lungs, circulatory system, and tiny capillaries that supply oxygen and energy to your muscles. As your CV system improves, you burn fat more efficiently. Your body will be transformed into an aerobic furnace.
If you are walking in your target heart rate zone, your exercise is aerobic. Your blood delivers a continuous supply of oxygen to your working muscles. Walking at a constant pace for 20 minutes is an example of aerobic exercise. Find your “steady state.” Walk at a constant pace, slow enough so that you could carry on a conversation. You might be huffing and puffing a little, but you should not feel a lactic acid burn. Oxygen is your energy source, and you can walk for long periods. If you don’t have 20 minutes, walking at a consistent speed for as little as 10 minutes can improve your cardiovascular endurance. A great training effect of walking is that your resting heart rate will generally slow. Walking may provide you with a stronger heart, providing for a greater stroke volume, to eject more blood through your body with each beat. You may notice an increase in energy. And you will be able to work longer and harder without fatigue.
|When beginners who have led sedentary lives start, it is recommended that they walk slower for the first two weeks taking part in 2-3 workouts per week for a maximum of 20 minutes. This allows for an easy break-in period that will help ward off excessive soreness. Aqua jogging provides a break from the orthopedic impact of your normal walking program. Some experts recommend substituting aqua jogging for walking at least once a week. They may progress on to the next level as they feel comfortable or as prescribed by their doctor or certified fitness professional.
If you have been exercising regularly a minimum of 2 times a week and lead an active lifestyle, it is recommended that you start out walking 3-5 times a week for a maximum of 30-40 minutes. Feel free to spend 60-80 percent of your workout walking briskly. If you have been exercising regularly 3 or more times a week quite vigorously for three or more months and lead an active lifestyle it is conceivable that you could walk 4 to 6 times per week for 40-60 minutes. But if you awaken to a faster than normal resting heart rate, BE SURE to take a day off. You probably have been overtraining.