October 24, 2011

4 Keys To Cardiovascular Success

There are four main principles to consider when designing an effective cardiovascular program. They are also training variables you can alter from time to time to increase your stamina, break through plateaus, and adjust to reflect your level of conditioning.


Frequency
How often do you need to perform exercise to see dramatic results in your golf game? Frequency applies to how often you perform your exercise program. Regardless of the time you put in, your body has a way to adapt to this frequency so it is wise to change the frequency from time to time. An example of this is performing your aerobic activity 3 days a week and increasing it to 4 days. You can also adjust it down by going from 5 or 6 days of cardio down to 3 for a different effect. In general, 2 days a week of cardio is for maintenance, 3 days a week is for beginners, and 4 to 5 days is for more serious athletes or those in need of fat loss.

Intensity
The amount of effort you give to each workout is measured by your intensity. Our energy levels and interest often dictate this level as we arrive at the gym or get ready to go for a run. There are benefits to different levels of intensity. When you first begin exercise or are deconditioned, you may feel like anything you do is exertion. However, as you become more fit, you can alter your level of intensity to reflect this new level. Generally, we use heart rate to measure our working capacity which corresponds to intensity. A heart rate of 50 to 60% yields little benefits. A heart rate of up to 70% is good for building endurance, burning some fat, and for health benefits. However, 70-85% is ideal for maximizing your aerobic fitness.

Time
How much time you spend on cardio equipment can vary? There isn’t a set amount of time you should spend because it all revolves around your current level of fitness. If your endurance is 15 or 20 minutes then logically this is all you will be able to complete at this time. However, it is important to put yourself on a program which is progressively challenging to your cardiovascular system. For golf, you should perform cardio 3 days a week for 30 to 40 minutes. You should strive to endure any aerobic activity for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time. For example, some people love the treadmill and tend to use this exclusively. However, when they get on an Elliptical machine, they are surprised at how this taxes their system. Continue challenging yourself on a variety of machines and in a variety of outdoor activities.

Type
What type of cardio exercise produces the greatest benefits? The truth be told, it is far more important to find an activity that you enjoy and that suits your lifestyle. The type of exercise can affect your mental state as well. You are more likely to stick with it and be consistent when you like the activity. Consider your personality, budget, any orthopaedic concerns and available space when deciding. Some may argue that one machine is superior. This is impossible because what works for one person does not work for another. Consider a golfer with past knee injuries. Often times these golfers do much better on an Elliptical machine because it keeps their knees in a lower stress environment as compared to a treadmill. Don’t be afraid to try new things with your cardio. There are an infinite number of possibilities you can try indoors and out to increase your cardiovascular fitness.

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