Aerobics and Your Heart

Oxygen is necessary to allow chemical transformations in the body. The heart is the muscle that pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body.

Aerobic exercise increases lung capacity (intake of oxygen) and strengthens the heart muscle (more effective pumping of oxygen), helping the body to clean more effectively and rapidly and helping reducing risks of heart diseases. Aerobics can also increase your body level of HDL, a substance that carries cholesterol out of the blood system.

Aerobics can also lower blood pressure. A sedentary person's heart beats 75 times per minutes versus regular exercisers' heart beating 55 times per minute. So to speak, in a year, a sedentary person's heart beats 10,512,000 times more than an active one. Therefore, aerobic training maximize your Cardiacpulmonary efficiency which means your heart accomplishes more work with less efforts, and your lungs can make more place inside your body for more oxygen intake. As a result, you feel fit, you avoid illnesses, you chase away laziness, you think more clearly, and you memorize better. Aerobic exercise forces the lungs and the heart to work slightly below their maximum capacity (the Maximum Heart Rate, or HR Max). This range is to be found between 60 and 80% or your HR Max; it is called your Target Heart Rate, or THR.

Your THR depends on your age and your level of fitness, i.e., your actual Heart Rate, or HR.

To take your HR, take your pulse.

Place your fingertips, two fingers below the base of your neck, or in the depression next to your windpipe on you neck, just over the artery. Count the number of pulses you can feel for 10 seconds, and multiply by 6.

If you are well trained, you might count 10 beats for 10 seconds:

10 X 6 = 60 BP Minute as your HR.

Take your HR preferably when you wake up, for 3 days, and calculate the average.

An average person would count 70 BPM.

To work aerobically, raise your heart rate to you THR (Target Heart Rate) and keeps it here for at least 20 minutes.

How do I calculate my THR?

Calculate your HR Max by subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying your answer by 60% (your minimal HR range during exercise to be able to work aerobically), and by 80%, your maximal HR. The lower number also suggests what is the safest HR for beginners, while the higher number could be your goal to improve your general fitness level.

Imagine you are an average person of 30 years old; your HR Max. will be:

220 - 30= 190 for a woman, and

226 - 30 = 196 for a man.

Your THR range will be:

190 x .60= 114

190 X .75= 143, for a woman, and:

196 x .60= 118

196 X .75= 147, for a man.

Check your pulse at your wrist or neck. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply that number by four to determine the number of beats per minute.

After 30 minutes of exercising, take your pulse.

For safety and maximal benefit, your number of pulses (if a trained adult of 30 years old) should be not below 114 BPM (60% of THR) and no higher than 142 (80% of your THR). Only athletes work over 80% of their THR. If you are a beginner, it is better you begin between a range of 50% to 60%; if you are out of shape but you have exercised before, begin between 65% to 70% of your THR.

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