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Perfect Health Fitness

Perfect Health Fitness

What is Cardio?

The term cardiovascular system refers to your heart and blood vessels, which carry oxygen and other nutrients throughout your body. The heart is actually a muscle, and like any other muscle, you can strengthen it with exercise.

If you’re breathing hard and can feel your heart beating (and you don’t stop), you’re doing cardio. Walking, hiking, running, jogging and cycling are some popular examples. Variety is the spice of life. It’s easy to tire of the same workout week after week, so it is a good idea to vary it. Besides, varying your workout helps develop and strengthen different muscles and keeps you motivated.

Technically, cardiovascular exercise is any activity that:

Uses large muscle groups (such as your legs).
Is rhythmic (you repeat the same basic movements).
Is aerobic (you take in and use more oxygen than usual).
Is sustained (you do it for several minutes at a time).

Benefits

Exercise can help to reduce or eliminate some of these risk factors:

High blood pressure
Regular exercise is associated with lower blood pressure.
Cigarette smoking
Smokers who exercise vigorously and regularly are more likely to cut down or stop smoking.
Diabetes
People at their ideal weight are much less likely to develop diabetes.
Exercise may also decrease a diabetic’s insulin requirements. Exercise can help people lose excess fat or stay at a reasonable weight.
Low levels of HDL
Low levels of HDL (one of the cholesterol-carrying proteins in the blood) have been linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease. Recent studies have shown that regular physical activity significantly increases HDL levels, and thus reduces your risk.

When not to Exercise?

Moderate to severe coronary heart disease that causes chest pain from inimical activity.

A recent heart attack. A three-month waiting period is considered standard before moderate; medically supervised exercise programme can begin.

Severe heart valve defects and heart beat irregularities.

A greatly enlarged heart and certain type of congenital heart disease.

Uncontrolled diabetes where you blood sugar levels fluctuate constantly.

High blood pressure not controlled by medication.

Any infectious disease during its acute stage.

When to Consult a Doctor?

If you have a heart condition or you’ve had a stroke, and the doctor recommended only medically supervised physical activity.

During or right after you exercise, if you often have pains or pressure in the left or mid-chest area, left neck, shoulder or arm.

You’ve developed chest pain within the last month.

If you tend to lose consciousness or fall over due to dizziness, or you feel extremely breathless after mild exertion.

If your doctor has recommended that you take medicine for your blood pressure, heart condition or for stroke.

If your doctor says you have bone, joint or muscle problems that could be made worse by the proposed physical activity.

If your medical condition or other physical reason not mentioned here that might need special attention in an exercise program, i.e. insulin-dependent diabetes.

If you are middle-aged or older, haven’t been physically active, and plan a relatively vigorous exercise program.

If none of these is true for you, you can start on a gradual, sensible program of increased activity tailored to your needs. If you feel any of the physical symptoms listed above when you start your exercise program, contact your doctor right away. If one or more of the above affect you, an exercise stress test may be used to help plan an exercise program.