The statistics are grim. And the truth hurts. Just think –

 

  • America’s # 1 killer is cardiovascular disease;

  • Over 900,000 Americans died from heart and blood vessel disorders;

  • Two out of five US deaths are caused by heart disease;

  • Over 2,500 Americans die each day from a form of  cardiovascular disease;

  • Approximately 250,000 people in the US succumb to heart attacks before reaching a hospital;

  • Half of victims of a heart attack wait more than two hours before seeking help;

  • Fifty million Americans have high blood pressure, the leading cause of heart disease. The sad news?  35% of these people don’t even know it.

 

These statistics should be sufficient reason to focus on the benefits of cardiovascular exercise.  Your heart is the most important muscle in your body.  It is responsible for pumping blood and oxygen efficiently throughout the whole anatomy.  Without this efficient pumping, we deprive our bodies of the nutrients they need to maintain quality of life.

 

If you’re new to health and fitness and your doctor has advised you to help your heart get stronger through cardiovascular exercise, the best route to take is to hire and certified fitness trainer.  Your program must be a perfect blend of cardio exercise and resistance training.  This is why a certified trainer is preferable to one who, in spite of many years spent in a gym, has not undergone certification.

 

A good trainer will start you with a thorough warm up.  Dr. Paul Chek is a holistic health practitioner and neuromuscular therapist.  He heads the Chek Institute, a California-based organization that specializes in correct fitness training and which has been consulted by many corporations and private individuals.

 

Dr. Chek says that before beginning your cardio-vascular exercises, the prelude to it – that is, the warm up – must take into account the S.A.I.D principle.  This is the acronym for “specific adaptation to imposed demand.”

 

SAID, according to Dr. Chek, is replicating all those body movements to be used in any given exercise for 50-75% of the predicted training intensity.  Therefore, if Monday’s cardio exercise is going to be spent on a stationary bike, the legs must be given a thorough warm-up.  If it’s brisk walking and fresh air outside another day, then the legs, arms, and torso must be treated to a proper warm up.

 

A good cardiovascular program should not be a monotonous routine.  You can opt for some aerobic workouts coupled with resistance training or weight training.  Spurts of training – or what others call sudden bursts – are a good way to rev up your body.  Cardiovascular exercise not only is beneficial to the heart, but it contributes to an increase in enzyme and metabolic activity.

 

Cardiovascular benefits generated by regular physical exercise will burn fat, thus reducing the likelihood of clogged arteries.  Clogged arteries are what you want to avoid at any cost.  They prevent oxygen from making its way to the heart. 

 

The benefits of cardiovascular exercises must be stressed to both young and old alike.  Children and adults must enroll in a fitness program and stay with it.  They must be made aware that the life muscle – the heart – needs TLC (tender loving care).  And cardiovascular exercise is one form of TLC.

 

Given that the heart is a vital muscle, the National Heart Foundation has made grants of about $6.5 million for research into detecting and treating heart disease and stroke.  Over thirteen million Americans have some kind of heart trouble. 

 

Proven fact:  regular and consistent cardiovascular exercises like running, tennis, swimming, biking – any activity that requires intensity and sets your heart pumping – can stave off heart disease in the long term. 

 

Be kind to your heart.  Do your cardiovascular exercises most days of the week.

 

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