Iheart would say that what makes an exercise cardio-vascular is that it gets you out of breath and allows you to keep that breathless state going for a prolonged period of time. For example any exercise or activity will cause you to get more breathless or for your heart rate to increase as your body is requiring more oxygen for a number of different reasons but if we asked you to do an exercise at the FitFarms weight loss boot camp that was too hard for you at this time then your body wouldn’t be able to cope with the oxygen requirement and you would fatigue too quickly so it’s not necessarily a specific exercise more like a level of output.

Basically you want to be able to elevate your heart rate and breathing as much as you can maintain for as long as you can. Take walking as an example, setting out at a constant pace will gradually increase your heart rate and oxygen saturation in your blood as long as you maintain a similar standard or effort that same pace will become more challenging as your body tires but is able to cope with the energy requirement if we then add a hill you may need to slow the pace to maintain a similar effort because you now have a greater resistance to work against. So your effort will be the same but your pace slower.

This example also carries over to your level of fitness as it improves your pace will increase but the effort level will feel similar to before. So then, how can we use cardio-vascular exercise? Well we could use it to improve our basic level of fitness which means to be able to do normal things better and to be able to recover from simple activities a little swifter, so something like going for a short walk 3 times a week could be enough to see improvement to this degree.

You could also use it to help with your higher level of fitness pushing your limits and challenging yourself more regularly, long undulating walks/jogs/runs swimming, cycling, CV equipment in a gym etc could all be used for this but exercises involving too much muscle focus like muscle specific weights/body weight exercises like squats or press ups etc will fatigue the muscles too quickly to be able to properly benefit the CV system. Also you can really effectively use these kind of exercises for recovery from more intensive sessions, the CV system is designed to work continuously and to recover whilst it works Muscles need a more thorough recovery so after a hard session that leaves your body aching your thinking you should avoid exercise until your ready to go at it again, but it’s actually much more beneficial to do something albeit less intensive to allow the increased blood flow to aid the muscle recovery by delivering much needed nutrients during the recovery process. So if you are looking to improve your heart health or want to improve your muscle recovery from more intensive exercise or would or would just like to be able to do the normal day to day activities better then the best exercises are the lower intensity movement based activities.

Editorial by Andy, FitFarms Health Manager


 

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