I suppose I could write about the top ten cardio workouts with the tenth being...sex! Yep, I'll bet that would get your attention. Or how about something mushy and lovey to do with Valentine's Day?
Nope. Instead I'd like to awaken you to the amazing gift of your very own heart. I'm going to tell you what it wants from you, what it needs from you.
The heart, as you've heard, is a muscle. Hmmmm, right up my alley. What does that mean to you? That means you have got to work that thing OUT regularly to keep it in good shape. But first let's look at how that amazing muscle works to get blood flowing to where your body needs it. Check out this VIDEO here: LOVE YOUR HEART
Oh. My. Gosh. Did you watch it? This is inside of you and it's keeping you ALIVE! It never stops, even while you sleep! Isn't it FANTASTIC?!
I will never ever forget the day I learned exactly how the heart works. Your body is a flippin MIRACLE! What I wish to press upon you is this fact and the absolute importance of learning how it works and then how to take better care of it. I know so many people, as I am sure you might too, who have stints, grafts, pacemakers and/or are on blood thinners...or worse. AH! It's your one and only honey. Let's look at some ways you can take better care of it and make your heart stronger so it'll last.
You need to start on the ground floor when you begin to build your cardiovascular foundation. Whether your goals are to strengthen your heart and lungs for endurance (think: marathons or so as not to huff and puff up the stairs) or to lose body fat, there is a specific way to work your body to accomplish these goals.
My clients fill out forms for me and in one category they tell me how "fit" they feel they are in the cardiovascular department. I put them up on my elliptical, usually for only three to four minutes, and then we check out what their heart rate is registering at. That number tells a little story and let's me know where we need to begin to build it stronger.
Your body uses two things when doing cardio. It uses fat for fuel or glycogen/sugar for fuel. If your goal is for weight loss, you need to figure out what your fat burn zone (FBZ) is. Here is the formula to find out what yours is:
- 48 (your age) hush, that's mine...
172 (Maximum Heart Rate)
Now take MHR (172) and multiply by 60% = 105
Then take MHR (172) and multiply by 80% = 140
I've rounded up the numbers a tiny bit.
So for me to use my body fat for energy while doing cardio OR if I am a starting to build my cardiovascular system, I will keep my heart rate between 105 and 140. Now do I want you at the top end of yours? Nope. We need to build it up! One brick on top of the other. Your body acclimates to everything you give it. You do not have to be overweight to have a poor cardiovascular system by the way. But if you're not seeing results in your body fat loss and you get too winded while doing cardio, you are defeating the purpose and it will be difficult to meet your goals.
So go slow in the beginning. Keep your heart rate on the low to middle range of your numbers. Start there four days a week for 30 minutes and you will see that after a couple weeks you can go just a little faster, a little longer, adding more days and time. Take your breaths in through the nose, deep into the belly, below the diaphragm. Exhaling through your mouth. This will help you to oxygenate your blood even more. Viola! You are gaining strength in your heart and lungs. Now, kick it up a notch, still keeping it in your zone. Then, after a couple more weeks, kick it up again. See? You are building your foundation. Yaaay for you!
I see so many people going "balls to the walls" on the cardio equipment and they wonder why things aren't moving...as in, off their body. It's because when you are out of your fat burn zone you will utilize your glycogen for energy. Which is fine. Nothing wrong with that! You'll peel off the calories for sure. But what's your end goal? Marathon? No huffing and puffing? Weight loss? Then go slower and build it up.
So, there you have it. Where your heart and lungs are concerned, that's how ya build it strong friend.
For life-long health and wellness there are THREE major areas to building a strong, healthy, fit YOU. To learn how to do all three in unison, correctly - so it works, come see me. I am extremely proficient in helping you get the results you want. Check out my website HERE!
1) Nutrition is the number one thing! What you eat can kill you and hurt your heart sweetie. So you need to get a handle on that first. And at my studio, it's first on our agenda!
2) Strength Training/Muscles - My Favorite!
3) and finally, your Heart (cardiovascular).
When you love your heart and take care of it, someone will then be able to love it with you! Awww, isn't that sweet, sweetheart?