Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cardiovascular Training for Fitness, Health and Youthfulness! - Part 2

            Last month our article ended with the first part of a famous saying. "The two best doctors in the world are..." The complete quote is: "The two best doctors in the world are your right leg and your left leg!"

            Walking is an effective way to improve physical health, and also mental and emotional health as well. Many people have been able to change their whole life and their future by walking. It has been found that the repetitious movement of walking puts the body into the parasympathetic state, which is the state of "rest and repair". It usually takes about 20 minutes or more of walking before the body goes into this state.

            Mental and emotional girl running on true treadstress puts a tremendous burden on the subconscious, and can cause many different types of physical ailments. Walking for 20 minutes or more each day allows the conscious mind, and the subconscious mind to relax, and be able to deal with things that cause stress much more effectively.

            Walking has always been one of the best cardiovascular exercises. In fact, in the last 40 years cardiovascular training has become a worldwide practice. It really started in the 1970's with a lot more research into exercise programs for athletes, both professional and amateur. The question arose that since cardiovascular training had such amazing benefits for a healthy, youthful person, could there be any potential benefits for the sick and the elderly, if they had a modified program that was scaled down to their fitness level. Research and testing was conducted all over the world, and proved that most people have a health and fitness potential that is much higher than they realize. Some people suffer with poor health and premature ageing when they could enjoy a strong, healthy and youthful body, and be much more productive in their work, family life and social life!

Benefits the 12 Systems of the Body
            Cardiovascular Training benefits all 12 Systems of the human body. What we mean by this, is that there is a special set of unique benefits for each of the 12 different systems in the body. When people understand the importance of that statement, they begin to realize how essential cardiovascular training is for everyone who wants to be healthier, stronger and more youthful. So, what are some of the systems in the body, and the corresponding benefits of cardiovascular training for those systems?
            Circulatory System: Cardiovascular training strengthens the heart muscle and helps create flexible, clean arteries. Keeping arteries flexible and clean is the best way to prevent arteriosclerosis and blockages. The life-giving movement of cardiovascular exercise maximizes the delivery and uptake of oxygen and other life-giving nutrients by every cell in the body. Also, the retrieval of waste products is optimized from all of the trillions of cells in the body. Resting heart rate can be reduced by up to 25 beats per minute which will save over 1 million beats per month on the heart muscle!
            Digestive System: Stimulates the assimilation of nutrients from the GI (Gastro-Intestinal) tract into the bloodstream to feed all the glands and organs, and muscles, bones and tissues in the body. Also, the uptake of glucose into the cells is improved to help regulate blood sugar levels!
            Endocrine System (Glandular System): By elevating the heart rate there is an increase in the quality and quantity of hormones produced by the glands, specifically the 3 master glands in the brain, the pituitary, pineal and hypothalamus. This will result in increased alertness and clarity, improved mood, and a more positive mental and emotional outlook. Also, the metabolism is stimulated and recalibrated for optimum weight management. Studies have found that a good cardio program can turn back the internal biological clock by up to 30 years. The average 70 year old, who is physically fit, could be in better overall condition than the average 40 year old, who is not physically fit!
            Muscular System: Cardiovascular training provides an overall conditioning of over 400 skeletal muscles, which are the muscles that move the joints in the body. Also, the strength of the glands and organs is directly related to the strength of the skeletal muscles. This is especially true for the muscles in the core or torso, resulting in healthier, stronger gland and organ function!
            Nervous System: The simple, repetitious movements of cardiovascular exercise puts the body into the state of rest and repair which is the parasympathetic state. This is an excellent way to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep patterns.
            Skeletal System: The bones and joints are strengthened because of the challenge of movement and resistance. The uptake of calcium and other minerals is improved, because of the effect of the G-forces of gravity on the bone cells. This is especially important from middle age on to help prevent osteoporosis, and to keep the framework of the body, which is the skeletal system, strong and erect. All of the glands, organs and muscles are supported in the correct position by a strong skeletal system so they can function properly. Correct posture also feels good and looks good.
            These are some of the key benefits of cardiovascular training for 6 out of the 12 systems in the body! So, we can see that cardiovascular training is very beneficial for everyone, but should everyone be doing the same type of training?


Which Type Is Best?
            Like any exercise or therapy, it is important that it is graduated and suitable for the individual's particular needs and goals. There are 4 main types of cardiovascular training: 1) Weight Loss; 2) Aerobic Conditioning; 3) Competitive Training; and 4) Interval Training.  

            For weight loss it is recommended to exercise between 60% -70% of your maximum heart rate for a longer duration, perhaps up to an hour or more. Remember from the last article that your maximum heart rate per minute, is 220 minus your age. For example, a 50 year old would have a maximum heart rate of 220 minus 50 which would equal 170 beats per minute. For aerobic conditioning the range is 70% - 80% of your maximum heart for moderate duration, perhaps 30 to 60 minutes. For competitive training the range is 80% - 90% for a shorter duration, which might be 10 to 30 minutes. For interval training a person will raise their heart rate to the upper end of their personal target zone for several minutes, and then slow down and/or decrease resistance to bring their heart rate down to the lower end of their personal target zone for a few minutes. This high intensity and then low intensity approach is repeated several times throughout their workout. This is an excellent way for a person to improve their recovery time, which is how quickly their pulse returns to normal after exercise. Interval training is also more stimulating and less tiring than workouts that are always at a constant heart rate. All 4 different cardiovascular workouts could be used for enhanced benefits, depending on a person's individual needs and goals, and if they have the approval of their doctor.

            Next month we will be talking about the different products or activities that can give you a good cardiovascular workout, and the advantages of each so that you have an idea which type of activity is best for you. We will also talk about a simple way to do a periodic fitness test, and why doing so is an excellent motivator!

Did you know that the heart muscle, which in the average adult weighs less than a pound, pumps about ______ gallons a day, which is ______ pounds of blood a day? We will tell you next month how big those numbers really are! You will be amazed.  

- Written By: Philip Legge RNC, CH, CDMT
Copyright 2017 - Legge School of Natural Health Care

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