Dancing for Optimal Physical Condition
American Heart Association - Importance of Exercise
The American Heart Association considers inactivity a risk factor for heart disease and list the benefits of cardio exercise to be:
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Reduce morbidity and mortality from heart problems
- Helps to raise the good cholesterol and lower the bad
- Helps to control diabetes and obesity
- Helps joint and muscle endurance
- Helps to decrease your stress level and to alleviate depression
- High intensity exercise can actually improve the function of your left ventricular ejection fraction, which means the heart muscle will pump more effectively
Get Heart Rate in Optimal Range
There are numerous types of cardio exercises from which to choose. You want to get your heart rate in the optimal range and keep it there for 30 minutes at least 3 times weekly. The typical formula for the average person is 220 minus your age times 60% and times 90%.
For example, if you are 30 years old using the above formula 220-30+190 times 60% =114 and times 90% = 171. So your target heart rate is 114-171. You use a second hand watch and count your pulse at your carotid artery just either side of your throat for 30 seconds and times it by 2, or you can count for the whole minute.
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Dance Your Way to Cardio Health
Running is one of the best cardio exercises and you can do it just about anywhere with the only expense being a pair of quality running shoes. You burn serious calories when running also. A 145 bound person running 5.2 MPH for 30 minutes burns 300 calories. However, many of us are not runners.
Taking a brisk walk or swim will get your heart rate into that optimal range for 30 minutes and will give you the same benefits listed above. If you are doing slow, steady exercise it ideally it should last 45 minutes -1 hour. High intensity cardio will do the same job in 20-30 minutes.
Most people know the basic equipment available for your home and what can be found at your fitness center. I won’t go into that huge list. What has become much more popular over the last decade is various dance routines. These can be done at home alone or with a group which is a bit more fun.
I have seen Jazzercise and other types of groups meet at gyms, schools and in same storefronts. The following videos should give you an idea of the various types of dance exercise that will definitely get your heart pumping.
Zumba with Angie from Charlotte, NC
It takes a consistent commitment on your part to decide to exercise for health at regular intervals. Cardio exercise will extend your life and help keep you free from disease. Try dancing your was to good heart health. You will be surprised at how much fun it is and how much better you will feel. If this is not a route you want to try, then pick something where you will be successful.
Keep a written record, which will reflect your physical improvement, weight loss, commitment, and it will boost your ego.
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby