"Any cardiovascular exercise is better than no cardiovascular exercise" is a saying we sometimes hear.
But it accurate? Is it always better to get something as opposed to nothing?
Exercise physiologist and PPT staff manager Brian Walters expains, "Cardiovascular exercise, like any form of movement, has both its risks and its benefits. It is important to adhere to a healthy prescription so that you aren't wasting time or putting your body in jeapordy."
But how can cardiovascular exercise waste time?
Long-time director of operations and PPT health coach Val Fiott explains, "Many people choose methods of cardiovascular work that might be healthy for the heart, but that damage the joints. Running is a great example, as it is often accompanied by an unhealthy dose of stress on the bones and joints, and tends to create muscular imbalances if the right strength & stretching program isn't in place. Elliptical work and swimming are generally safer cardiovascular exercises with less risk of joint and bone damage. On another note, if the cardiovascular intensity is too low, then the health benefits won't accompany the work."
So, how much is too much? What should we be doing to enhance our health and lose the excess holiday pounds?
Here are the steps:
- Know your medical history: Lung obstructions and other pulmonary issues will change the way your cardiovascular system functions, and will thereby change the intensity at which you should be exercising.
- Once we determine an appropriate intensity and length of time for your cardiovascular fitness exercise, it is important to monitor your responses for changes to the plan. Light-headedness, nausea, joint pain, poor posture, and other issues are reason to modify your program and track what occured and when.
- Regularly monitor your heart rate, breathing and biomechanics. There are usually clinical warning signs that you're either overtraining or undertraining, but they can be easily missed if you're not paying attention to them.