We all know the heart is a muscle, arguably the most important muscle in your body. We can maintain cardiovascular health with aerobic exercise. Aerobics is any exercise using your large muscle groups to increase the body's need for oxygen over an extended period of time. Moderate aerobic exercise helps to develop a stronger, more efficient heart muscle, improve aerobic capacity, reduce blood pressure, (now known to be a major factor in preventing heart attacks), and stimulate metabolism to help reduce weight gain. Also it can increase the HDL or good cholesterol, promoting healthier arteries, and reducing risk of heart disease.
Aerobic exercise helps regulate the body's blood glucose level, reducing risk for diabetes, and increasing the amount of oxygen supplied to the brain, improving mental function. Also, during exercise, the body releases endorphins that help relieve depression, reduce stress, and possibly aid in appetite control. So, you can see why you'd want to get a daily dose of aerobic exercise. It’s never too late to start exercising. Our bodies respond positively no matter what age we begin.
What Can Aerobic Exercise Do For Baby Boomers
Better body Image
Quality of life
Increased energy and stamina for daily living
Cardio Output=Stroke volume+heart rate
Achieve higher stroke volume and lower heart rate
It is important to build up to at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise several days a week. Walking, biking, swimming and an easy aerobics exercise video like Mirabai Holland’s Fabulous Forever® Easy Aerobics are all good ways to get in your
healthy daily dose of cardio fitness. If you are advanced try Moving Free® Cardio Dance.
Women who walked at least 3 hours
per week had a 45% lower risk of heart attack and stroke than sedentary women.
Women who reported a brisk (at least 3 miles/hr.) or very brisk (at least 4 miles/hr.) had a 54% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Similar results were found for reducing risk in stroke. (Nurses Health Study, Manson, JoAnn, MD, Amer. Heart Assoc. 1998)
(Read other studies at the bottom of page)
Exercise Guidelines Components of an effective aerobic exercise program:
Intensity and Aerobic exercise
Stay within your target heart rate zone.
55%-85 % of your maximal heart rate.
Max Heart Rate Formula:
220-your age=Max heart rate (bpm)
Exercise at 55%-85% of max.
Target Heart Rate Zone
220-50 yr. old=170 (bpm) Max heart rate
55%x 170= 94 (bpm)
85%x 170=145 (bpm)
An easy rule-of-thumb method to measure exercise intensity is:
The Talk Test
You can sing a song while exercising = Light Intensity
You can carry on a conversation = Moderate Intensity
Can’t speak without getting winded = Intense (maybe too intense)
Or use The Borg Scale to measure how you feel. Try using the
Rating of Perceived Exertion Chart below.
(Also use if you are on medication that lowers your heart rate, like betablockers)
||Very Very Light|
||about 60% THR|
||15 Hard 80% THR|
||Very Very Hard|
Borg RPE scale
© Gunnar Borg, 1970, 1985, 1994, 1998
Frequency:Aerobic Exercise 3-7 days per week
Duration: At least 30 minutes, at 55%-85% max heart rate
Helps develop stronger, more efficient heart muscle, stimulate metabolism and reduce weight gain. Can increase HDL for healthier arteries and reduce LDL for less arterial plaque.
Elevates Core Temperature
Prepares Body for Vigorous Exercise
Do Cool Down
Helps return blood to heart
Good time for stretching
Research findings on the cardiovascular benefits of physical activity were the first to be widely known. In 1989, a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that walking briskly just 30 minutes a day could lower risk of heart attack by 50%.
Since then, many studies published in scientific journals have reported that regular physical activity adds years to peoples’ lives.
- One 1990 study found that higher levels of physical fitness appear to delay mortality by lowering rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- A 1995 study prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine to recommend: “Every US adult should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week” for better health and disease prevention.
- Another 1996 study by researchers at the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Fitness in Texas concluded that low levels of fitness are tied to longevity, and that higher levels protected both smokers and nonsmokers, people with and without elevated cholesterol levels or elevated blood pressure, and unhealthy and healthy persons.
- Studies of people age 80 and older in nursing homes who began to exercise showed improved strength and mobility levels.