The most popular form of cardiovascular exercise has always been running. It’s an activity that kids pick up on from an early age and quickly becomes their preferred mode of transportation from point A to point B. Some people never lose that passion, but others gravitate towards it. other forms of cardiovascular exercise.
This week, I’ll explore some of my favorite forms of “non-running” cardio and showcase an exercise that demonstrates the versatility of cardiovascular workouts.
The process of aerobic energy generation is generally defined by long periods of sustained activity that increases heart rate. During cardiovascular exercise, the heart pumps rapidly to transport oxygen throughout the body and to working muscles. If I examine the most literal translation of the definition, I quickly realize that “aerobic training” has very little to do with the chosen activity, and everything to do with the intensity and duration of the workout. coaching.
Using this philosophy, it is possible to turn almost any physical activity into a cardiovascular workout.
The key is to increase the heart rate, extend the duration, remove any large rest intervals. Swimming and biking are obvious choices due to their repetitive nature, but activities like shoveling snow or raking leaves can also fit the definition of cardiovascular exercise.
As someone who doesn’t particularly like running, I enjoy all sorts of cardiovascular exercise options. There’s something about working out while doing cardiovascular training that appeals to my sense of efficiency. Washing the car, mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges are just a few examples of household activities that I turn into workouts.
The easiest way to turn a project into a workout is to wear a heart rate monitor. Raising heart rate to a point that can be considered “cardiovascular” is not easy, but the lower limit of the cardiovascular range is generally considered to be around 60% of maximum heart rate. To calculate maximum heart rate, simply subtract your age from 220. At 44, my maximum heart rate is 176 beats per minute, so I multiply that by 60% and arrive at a lower limit of 106 bpm.
So my goal is to get my heart beating at least 106 beats per minute – that’s all it takes for my activity to qualify as light cardiovascular training. Wearing a heart rate monitor helps me understand what 106 beats per minute looks like in terms of workout intensity, and it’s especially useful for housework and other non-traditional forms of exercise. physical.
This week’s exercise is a non-traditional cardiovascular exercise. The squat arm ergometer is an alternative for those who might have a lower body injury or simply prefer to use the upper body.
1. Stand in front of the arm ergometer, aka “handcycler”, and squat down until the handles are level with your chest. The amount of squat will be different for each person depending on their height.
2. Bend at the knees and hips, then grab the handles of the arm ergometer and “pedal” moving the handles in a circular motion for 60 seconds without stopping.
3. Perform four sets of 60 seconds with only 10 seconds of rest between sets.
The arm ergometer is a cool piece of equipment available at some playgrounds around town – like the AARP FitLot at Murray Park in Little Rock – and it’s relatively inexpensive home equipment, for those interested.
I enjoy it because it really stimulates blood flow to the arms and shoulders while increasing heart rate and stimulating upper body muscles. Now let’s get to work!
Matt Parrott holds a PhD in Education (Sports Studies) and a Masters in Kinesiology and is board certified by the American College of Sports Medicine.