Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio-vascular exercise, has many known benefits, and I’ll mention a few later. For now, let’s start with a definition: Cardio-vascular exercise means exercise that will make your heart rate go up so that your vessels will contract and relax periodically. Cardio stands for heart and vascular stands for blood vessels. We should all do this kind of exercise for one hour 5 times per week, according to American Medical Association.

Benefits of cardio-vascular exercise:

Blood glucose regulation: During exercise muscles use glucose that is in the blood stream as a primary source of energy. When that glucose is depleted, more glucose is released from storage in the liver. This is the simplest way to lower glucose level for patients with diabetes type2. Do not drink soft drinks or sweet Gatorade during exercise, as it will cancel its blood glucose lowering effect. Read here about importance of exercise in Diabetes type2. Read here

Vaso-dilation and lowering of blood pressure: During exercise the lining cells of vessels produce nitrous oxide, a substance very similar to nitroglycerin (a vasodilator). It causes natural vasodilatation / relaxation and drop in blood pressure. Daily exercise will insure constant production of nitrous oxide and steady low blood pressure. Read here

Cancer prevention: Increased daily physical activity has been associated with a significantly decreased risk of cancer in both men and women. Read more about that here: http://blog.bodykind.com. The blog summarizes many current research articles.

Weight reduction. When cardio-vascular exercise has been paired with the Mediterranean diet, the weight reduction is significant and long lasting. Read here

Here are a few simple rules to remember:

1. Bring your heart rate up slowly during exercise. I recommend to my patients that they spend 15 minutes to warm up, 30 minutes of exercise with maximum heart rate for your age and 15 minutes to cool down to your resting heart rate.

2. The intensity of cardio-vascular exercise is measured by the heart rate. During aerobic exercise you have to bring your heart rate to a maximum point or its highest rate for your age. The formula for calculating your maximum heart rate point is: (220-age) x 0.6. For example, if you are 60 years old, your maximum heart rate, during cardio-vascular exercise, will be 96 beats per minute: (220-60) x 0.6 = 96beats/min.