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Be Well with Cathy Siley

wellness

Exercise and Cardiovascular Health

February is Heart Month … Are you doing all that you can to keep your heart healthy?  Cardiovascular exercise is a key component to healthy hearts, and like most other forms of exercise, can be done on a number of different levels depending on what your end goal is.

In order to maintain overall cardiovascular health, being physically active is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s #1and #5 killers.  According to the American Heart Association, you should strive for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity) to improve overall cardiovascular health. Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember.

For people who would benefit from lowering their blood pressure or cholesterol, AHA recommends a little bit more … 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week to lower the risk for heart attack and stroke.  Are you “too busy” at work, school or with life??  You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.  Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories.

In addition to maintaining overall cardiovascular health, if your end goal includes losing some weight, then your exercise goals will be a little bit different. There are many misconceptions out there … primarily that increasing the amount of straight cardio you do will burn more calories.  While this can be true, it is important to understand what your target heart rates are, then adapting your workout routines to be within those target zones.  Understanding heart rate zones, and keeping your heart rates within them, will allow for more efficient workouts, and will help you come closer to achieving weight loss goals.

And remember, maintaining heart health as well as achieving weight loss goals through increased cardiovascular exercise doesn’t mean you are chained to a treadmill … it can be realized through countless forms of exercise you can do right here at The Solebury Club.  Take a fitness class, do some Vinyasa or Hot Flow Yoga, and even lift some weights … yes, strength training can improve cardiovascular health too!   If you have never worked with a trainer before, talk to the front desk … ALL Solebury Club members are entitled to a free consultation with a personal trainer.  They can help answer any questions you may have and keep you on track with your healthy goals.

So keep on exercising, and keep that heart healthy!

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