The heart is the crucial organ that supplies blood and oxygen to all parts of the body. It’s about the size of a clenched fist and is shaped like a cone. Symbolically, the heart is the center of emotion, including affection and love. Last week we celebrated Valentine’s Day with our loved ones, maybe a sentimental card, some chocolate, and EXERCISE!? Actually, we don’t normally think of exercising with our sweetie as an expression of our love. I’m going to explain why it’s not only a great thing to do for yourself, but also together with your partner!
Cardiovascular exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate. It uses large muscle movement over a sustained period of time to keep your heart rate at over 50% of its maximum level. There are numerous benefits of cardiovascular exercise. Most people understand that cardio decreases body weight, decreases blood pressure, decreases LDL (bad cholesterol), increases HDL (good cholesterol), strengthens the heart and lungs, and increases metabolism.
In addition, cardio workouts flood the brain with chemicals that enhance memory, problem solving, and decision making. So, you’re working out your brain at the same time as your heart! Also, cardio boosts productivity, revs up your energy, and improves your mood. The overall effect is greater self-confidence.
To reap these amazing benefits of cardio exercise, what formula do you need to follow? (FITT)
FREQUENCY: 3-5X a week depending on your goals.
INTENSITY: Moderate pace, out of your comfort zone (uncomfortable), about a 6-7 on a scale of 1-10.
TIME: At least 20 minutes, (beginners will do less), and can be split up into two, 10-minute workouts.
TYPE: An activity that uses large muscle groups and one you will enjoy doing for an extended period of time.
Examples of fun exercises you can do with your spouse or partner are: swimming, dancing, walking/jogging, or a group exercise class such as Zumba, kickboxing, or spinning.
Loving yourself means taking care of you. Make time for cardio exercise and you’ll soon see how it transforms you on the outside and the inside. It’s a fun and healthy way to spend some quality time with a loved one.