Written by Guest Blogger Fehmida.

Some interesting researched facts about the heart: The heart is a powerful muscular pump that beats approximately 72 beats/min at rest. The amount of blood pumped/min is approx. 6 litres. The cardiovascular system consists of a network of approximately 100kms of vessels carrying blood! Thus, looking after our hearts is of utmost importance!

Regular cardiovascular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body.

Benefits include:

  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Reduces body weight.
  • Reduction in bad (LDL) cholesterol.
  • Increase in good (HDL) cholesterol.
  • Improvement in oxygen consumption (aerobic capacity) i.e. the body’s ability to take in CO2.
  • Transports waste products like lactic acid and CO2 from muscles.

There are a number of different cardiovascular exercises you could try.  It is important to find one that suits you and is enjoyable.

Walking:This is a good starting point, particularly if you’ve been inactive. Incorporate arm movements, hills and intermittent speed walking to increase intensity.

Running:This is a high impact exercise thus is not suitable for all particularly if you have injuries/knee problems. Running is a work in progress and takes perseverance to improve strength and stamina. It increases the heart rate rapidly and burns calories. Take advice regarding your running style and gait.

Swimming: Very convenient if a good size lap pool is accessible. There is no impact thus the risk of injury is minimal. It is also a great full body workout

Cycling: Has far less impact on joints and a good form of cardiovascular exercise.

All of the above are weather dependent so it is a good idea to have some alternatives.

Skipping/jump rope:  A good and inexpensive way to burn calories and increase heart rate in a confined space. Ensure that it is not done on a very hard surface.

Aerobic step:This can be done at home. Invest in a step with adjustable heights.

Other cardiovascular exercise include, rowing spinning, kickboxing. While all the outdoor exercise deprives one of privacy, adapt to your home environment. Climb stairs if you have a staircase, jump rope and if possible invest in an aerobic step, elliptical trainer, and treadmill or stationery cycle.

Guidelines:

  • Always consult a medical practitioner prior to embarking on a CV exercise programme
  • Start slowly your intensity will depend on your exercise history, fitness level, general health, age and goals.
  • Take baby steps and persevere begin with 3X a week and if possible and if possible increase to a 5X warm up and cool down to prevent injuries .
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stretch

 

You owe it to yourself to look after your heart and you DESERVE the time allocated to exercise! Ladies get your heart pumping!

 

Yours in Fitness

Fehmida

More about our Guest Blogger

Let me introduce you to a wonderful friend, Femida. Our first contact was telephonic, when I called her to ask if I could bring my son to her Moms and Tots Workshop. That call was the beginning of a lasting and dear friendship.

Fehmida has an honours degree in Social Work. She ran a successful Moms and Tots Business for 13 years, but her interest always leaned towards exercise. Equipped with a Diploma in Exercise Science, Fehmida opened her own ladies only gym called Fitness Fusion in 2009. She is my Go-To Diva for Fitness inspiration. Her ethos focuses on health gain rather than weight loss. It’s a lifestyle she says! Fehmida is my only friend, or should I say the only female I know who has a six pack.