Strength training helps improve your muscle tone and the strength of the various muscle groups that you exercise. This is important in any overall fitness program. Muscle strength allows you to more easily perform many everyday tasks. One of the muscles that is strengthened during strength training is the heart muscle. The heart is the most important muscle in the body. But, strength training is not the best form of exercise for strengthening the heart. Aerobic exercise is.
When aerobic exercise is done properly, it increases both the strength and the efficiency of your heart. As I said earlier, the heart is the most important muscle in the body. The pumping of the heart keeps oxygen and nutrients going to all the various parts of the body. Without this supply mechanism, we can not survive.
The newest information from the American College of Sports Medicine(ACSM) indicates that aerobic exercise sessions as short as 10 minutes in duration can help you to improve the strength of your heart. To be effective, the ACSM says that this kind of exercise has to increase your heart rate to at least 60% of your maximum heart rate. And, if you do these short duration sessions, you should try to do at least two to three sessions per day.
As is the case with all forms of exercise, a lot of people say that they can’t find the time to do aerobic exercise on a regular basis. It can be a challenge, but the real key is to find exercises that you enjoy and can fit into your schedule. This isn’t as difficult as you might think. Realizing that you can do aerobic exercise sessions as short as 10 minutes should make it easier to fit these sessions into your schedule. Now, try to think of all the different kinds of aerobic exercises that you enjoy and will fit in with your lifestyle. This may take some creativity, but it might be easier than you expect.
Here are some forms of aerobic exercise that you might want to consider: walking, jogging, running, biking, exercise bike, swimming, jump rope, dancing, jazzercise, aerobic dance, skipping, jumping jacks, cross country skiing, ice skating, elliptical trainer, stair climbing, or any other kind of exercise that will raise your heart rate to at least 60% of your maximum and keep it there for at least 10 minutes. Remember that you don’t have to do the same exercise each time. You can “mix and match” different forms of exercise, which in some circles is referred to as “cross training”. As an example, you could walk the dog (briskly) for 15 minutes after he does his thing in the morning, at lunch you could spend 10 minutes climbing the stairwell in your office building, and after work you could spend 15 minutes on the exercise bike in the corner of your family room while you watch the evening news. Doing the math and putting this together gives you 40 minutes of acceptable aerobic exercise for one day. Now, that wasn’t too hard was it?
All you have to do is think about the different parts of your life and decide where and what you can do to fit some aerobic exercise into the things you already do. Remember, a complete exercise program is ideal. But, if you don’t think you can fit it all in, try to figure out creative ways to at least include 30 minutes of aerobic exercise in your daily routine. Say yes to aerobic exercise.