Spring into Fitness: Cardiovascular Fitness

Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is continuous movement that gets your heart pumping more quickly and your breath coming a bit faster. It strengthens your heart and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke. It stimulates your immune system, helps control diabetes, reduces anxiety and depression, and helps lose or maintain your weight.

How to start your cardiovascular program:

1: Type of activity: Choose any activity that is fun for you. The choices are endless: walking, running, Zumba, kickboxing, jump rope, tennis, or swimming. As long as the movement has you moving continuously, gets your heart pumping  and your breath coming a bit faster.

2. Intensity: To gain cardiovascular benefits it is important to be exercising at an intensity where you feel like your body is working and being challenged, but not to the put where you feel like you need to stop moving. Intensity can be monitored by measuring your heart rate or using Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE).

3. Duration: 20-60 minutes. Start slow and build up. You can also break down activity into 10 minutes of exercise 3 times per day.

4. Frequency: 3-5 days/week.

5. Progression of Exercise Program: Set new goals, try new activities, increase duration and/or frequency.

Remember these are basic guidelines to follow and are modifiable depending on your current fitness level and goals.

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