The Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system works in conjunction with the circulatory system of the body. It’s when the blood circulates and transports nutrients and oxygen (amongst a few other things) to the heart and throughout the body. It is your veins and arteries by which the blood is transported. So, a strong and properly-functioning cardiovascular system means more oxygen is getting to the cells in your muscles. This means that your cells burn more fat as you increase your heart rate.

The point of cardio exercises is to increase your heart rate. You want to do this to have a strong and healthy heart and to burn calories. The ideal goal is to increase your heart rate to about 55-85% of your maximum heart rate. So, you need to first find your maximum heart rate. You can find your maximum heart rate with the formula below. You can also check out our ‘Tool Box’ menu on the home page and use the MHR wizard.

To calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR), use this formula:

220 (minus your age). If you are fifty years old, for example, it’s 220 – 50 = 170.

So, where would you start? How about starting with walking? All it takes is a little at a time. One foot in front of the other. Walk at your own pace and add a longer distance as you go along. Walking has always been a great choice of cardio. Walk outdoors or on a treadmill.

According to the American Heart Association, for overall cardiovascular health:

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes or
  • At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity AND

Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.

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