Individuals should participate in activities __________ to improve cardiovascular fitness

A. Twice a day.

B. Three to five days a week.

C. Two to three days a week.

D. Seven days a week.

The correct answer is: B. Three to five days a week.

Aerobic exercise
Aerobic exercise

The cardiovascular system of the body includes the heart and blood vessels. The heart is a muscular pump that pumps blood through a network of blood vessels all around the body.

Keeping your cardiovascular system in good shape is important especially since cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death and disability worldwide.

Any exercise is good for the body, but individuals should participate in activities twice a day to improve their cardiovascular fitness the most.

Exercise can help the heart both directly and indirectly. Indirectly exercise helps because it can cause a person to lose weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the heart. Exercise also helps lower stress levels in the body and decreases inflammation.

Stress and inflammation both have a negative impact on the cardiovascular system. Inflammation, in fact, can help to cause and aggravate arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis of arteries. These conditions can lead to serious problems including possible death.

The heart is a muscle and when you exercise you train the heart muscle to better use oxygen from the blood. Exercise also helps prevent diabetes and reduces blood pressure.

Diabetes and high blood pressure both increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Exercise also improves the circulation of blood around the body which means your cells receive more oxygen.

Exercise intensity and frequency

It is important to exercise in order to keep your body in good health. Exercise has been shown to help prevent illness and even helps people who have certain medical problems.

Type 2 diabetes, for instance, can often be well managed and controlled by a change in diet and by increased exercise. Exercise also helps to keep the body at a healthy weight.

In fact, being overweight or obese has been linked to an increased risk of many illnesses including diabetes type 2, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and other chronic conditions.

Lack of exercise has in fact been linked to several chronic health conditions. Furthermore,  researchers have linked lack of exercise to over 30 health conditions including even digestive issues such as gallbladder problems.

Studies done on obese teenagers showed that frequent exercise resulted in improved health including increased cardiovascular fitness. Exercise helps the heart and blood vessels both directly and indirectly.

Exercise directly helps the heart and blood vessels to function better. The indirect effects of exercise on the heart are due to the positive effect of exercise on blood sugar and body fat.

Exercise and blood sugar

Researchers have also shown that daily exercise results in an improved ability to cope with blood sugar and increased cardiovascular function.

Research has shown that days of inactivity lead to poorer health and worse blood sugar regulation. Diabetes is the condition that results from poor blood sugar control.

Diabetes is a condition that leads to cardiovascular problems due to the high blood sugar in the blood that is typical of the illness. This suggests that exercise is also indirectly beneficial to the heart and blood vessels since it helps with blood sugar control.

This, in turn, reduces the problems that diabetes causes for the heart and blood vessels. Thus, this also improves overall cardiovascular fitness.

Exercise and metabolic syndrome

Exercise on a daily basis when done over time also causes a drop in deep body fat, which is a dangerous type of fat leading to metabolic syndrome.

Other researchers have found that obese teenagers were only able to remain fit by continuing to do aerobic exercise often and follow recommended lifestyle changes.

Metabolic syndrome and obesity have also been linked to problems and disorders of the cardiovascular system. In fact, researchers have found even greater death rates among those people who have metabolic syndrome along with diabetes or other cardiovascular problems.

Aerobic exercise

An exercise program should include flexibility, balance, endurance, and strength. Endurance exercise includes aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is a type of exercise that really makes your lungs and heart work.

The aerobic type of exercise is the type of exercise that works best for your heart and lungs and helps to increases your cardiovascular fitness. Types of exercise include doing such activities as running, swimming, jogging, dancing, and bike riding.

The heart is basically a muscle which like other muscles, becomes stronger with exercise. It is important to check with your doctor though before starting an aerobic exercise program, especially if you have health problems already and if you are on medication.

Measuring cardiovascular fitness

The treadmill test is the main way to measure the fitness of the cardiovascular system. Oxygen consumption and heart rate are measured while a person runs on a treadmill.

The maximal oxygen consumption or VO2 max is measured during this time to establish how well a person’s cardiovascular system is doing.

The treadmill test works well as a measure of cardiovascular fitness because it measures how your heart and lungs respond to increasingly strenuous exercise.

Other tests can be done to test for heart problems. For instance, the doctor can take X-rays of your chest to see if your heart is enlarged. In addition, an ECG can be done to see how your heart is beating.

This test really measures the electrical activity of your heart and can be used to see if you have heart valve problems or potential arrhythmias. The ECG can also show if somebody is having a heart attack or if their heart rate is too slow or too fast.

References

  1. B Gutin, P Barbeau, S Owens, CR Lemmon, M Bauman (2002). Effects of exercise intensity on cardiovascular fitness, total body composition, and visceral adiposity of obese adolescents. The American journal of clinical nutrition.
  2. HA Wenger, GJ Bell (1986). The interactions of intensity, frequency and duration of exercise training in altering cardiorespiratory fitness. Sports medicine.
  3. FW Booth, CK Roberts, MJ Laye (2012).  Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases. Comprehensive Physiology.
  4. H Epstein et al. (1982). A comparison of lifestyle change and programmed aerobic exercise on weight and fitness changes in obese children.Behavior Therapy.
  5. S Malik et al. (2004). Impact of the metabolic syndrome on mortality from coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and all causes in United States adults. Circulation.

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