Posts Tagged ‘heart’

Love him with all your heart, live healthy

June 27th, 2009

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You enjoy spending time with your guy, but can too much togetherness be a bad thing?

That depends.

A new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who had a spouse with a cardiovascular risk factor – for example, elevated blood pressure or cholesterol levels were up to three times as likely to develop the same one themselves. Couples tend to adopt each other’s lifestyle habits, say researchers. So, set a good example by hitting the gym and piling your plate with produce. He may just follow suit.

Aerobics alert!

May 9th, 2009

Aerobics is a fun way to get your heart pumping. Did you know that the word ‘aerobics’ was once used to describe cardiovascular exercises? Over the last 20 years or so, the term ‘cardiovascular’ or cardio has gradually begun to replace it. Regardless of terminology, aerobics is still a great way to incorporate exercise into your routine. But first, let’s look at why cardio exercise is so important to overall health.

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Although cardiovascular exercise refers to any form of physical activity that increases the work rate of both the heart and lungs, it also works out and strengthens the entire body. Whether it is runnning, cycling, walking, jogging or swimming, cardio exercises can increase endurance, strengthen the heart and raise lung capacity.

Aside from these benefits, cardio exercises are also known to have the following positive effects:

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Improve blood cholesterol levels.
  • Improve muscle mass.

Aerobics is a fun method of working out the entire body. It also promotes better coordination and increases muscle strength and mobility. Aerobics also reduces blood pressure levels, increase muscle flexibility and endurance and improve posture. Besides, it’s a great way to burn calories. The wonderful thing about aerobics is that everyone of any age can find a type to suit their requirements.

If you are thinking of taking up aerobics as a regular work-out, first consider the reasons you are doing so. For instance, are you hoping to drop a few kilos? Or are you simply looking for a way to de-stress? Various types of aerobics are tailored for different purposes, so be clear of your needs before picking a type.

Here are some forms of aerobics exercises:

Running

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  • This mainly works the lower body, such as the ankles, knees and hips.
  • A proper warm up session is important before you start to avoid pulling a muscle.
  • Running can be classified into various sub-groups based on distance (long,short or cross-country).
  • Don’t increase your distance and intensity too quickly.

Swimming

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  • When done properly, swimming works out almost all the major muscle groups in the body.
  • There are several different strokes (backstrokes, freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly and side stroke). You should include different methods in order to utilize the various muscles.
  • Learning proper swimming techniques does not happen overnight. So, pace yourself and do not try to swim at high intensity before getting your technique right. Doing so could be detrimental.
  • On a separate note, always make sure there are life-guards present in case you require assistance.

Aerobic dance

This class is damn cool,seriously!

This class is damn cool,seriously!

  • Aerobic dancing starts out by working the lower body muscles. Later, upper body muscles can be added to the work-out.
  • There are three main variations based on intensity whether it’s low-impact, high-impact or step.
  • Low-impact aerobics normally involves the larger muscles groups and at least one foot is in constant contact with the ground. It is well-suited for the elderly, pregnant women and over-weight individuals.
  • High-impact aerobics includes jumping and hopping with both feet occasionally off the ground. This activity should be done with caution to prevent injuries. It is a great way to burn calories.
  • Step aerobics is done with the use of a platform and varies in intensity.

Rope jumping

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  • Rope jumping is also a great form of exercise as it works out the legs, shoulders, arms, chest and back.
  • Make sure the floor you are exercising on is even and non-abrasive. To prevent injuries, do not jump too high and always land on the balls of your feet.
  • The length of the rope is very important. To ensure it is the right length for you, stand on the center point. The ends should fit in your hands and come up to your mid-chest.

Stair climbing

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  • This form of aerobics works the lower body muscles such as the hamstrings, gluteal muscles and calves.
  • You do not need any equipment for this exercise. It can be done on regular stairs.
  • The handrails are only used to maintain balance, so stair climbing is a good choice if you want to improve posture.
  • Be sure to use your heels and not the balls of your feet or your toes when stepping up.

Fitness walking

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  • Fitness walking is categorized according to speed; strolling (3mph), brisk walking (4mph) and race-walking (5mph).
  • This exercise works out the quadriceps, gluteal and calf muscles as well as hamstrings.
  • Start with a warm-up session and proceed to light stretches before starting your walk. Increase your distance and speed gradually. If you’re walking on the roads, always walk against traffic flow.

Working the heart back into shape

April 28th, 2009

Exercise can help people recover after a heart attack but the benefits vanish when the workout stop, Swiss researchers said. Blood vessel function improved after  four weeks of exercise among people who exercized, but the findings published in the journal Circulation suggest that long-term and continuing physical activity is key to preventing another heart attack.

The Swiss team looked at 209 people who had survived a heart attack to gauge the effects of different types of exercise and what happened when people stopped regular physical activity. Volunteers were assigned to receive training in aerobic exercise , resistance workouts to build strength, or no exercise at all.

After four weeks, blood vessel function in all three exercise group improved, but there were no improvements among those who did not work out. The researchers also found that all positive benefits of working out had vanished among those in the exercise groups who stop physical activity after one month. Doctors know that exercise improves heart function after an attack but how much and what type are unclear.