Monday, April 16, 2012

Ask Us Anything: How Much Cardio?

"How often should I do cardio exercise? Would yoga or pilates be considered a form of cardio, or would the exercise need to be more strenuous?

I'm trying to increase my physical activity, but I'm also on a budget. How can I exercise outside of the gym?"

Physical Therapist Richard Szabala Responds:

"Cardio" or aerobic exercise is defined as any exercise that uses oxygen as its primary source of energy, as opposed to anaerobic exercise, which uses glycogen as its primary energy source.

Exercises that are aerobic generally involve high-repetition, low-resistance activities, such as walking, jogging, biking or swimming.

Stop-and-go sports, such as tennis, are a hybrid of both aerobic and anaerobic activities, as you are using high energy bursts for a short duration over an extended session. For example, you may run hard for 30 seconds to a minute on a point, but a match can last for over an hour. Stop-and-go sports therefore train both systems.

Yoga and pilates are generally stretching and isometric activities that are not considered aerobic, but offer other benefits to your body.

The United States Department of Health recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The exercise can be anything: walking, swimming, tennis, etc., but it should be something that you like to do. If it is something you enjoy doing, you will be more likely to stick with it, and it could become a lifelong hobby for you.

The key to exercising is having fun. One of the best and cheapest forms of cardio exercise is walking. Find a nice park near your home to enjoy nature, or just walk around the neighborhood and visit your friends. It's cheap, it's easy, and it's healthy for your heart.

– Richard Szabala PT, OCS

Richard Szabala is the senior physical therapist at AthletiCare Orchard Park.



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14 comments:

  1. Is it true that what causes nightmares are the basically due to heart complications? cause they say that nightmares usually occurs when the heart isn't functioning properly. Therefore, there's an uneven distribution of blood in the body and it affects the neurons in our brain. Is that correct?

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  2. I remember that when I was pregnant, I'd usually go out for a walk with my husband. It has been a great exercise and bonding moment for me and my husband ever since.

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  3. My trainer tells me that you can never have too much cardio. He tells me that if someone is too busy to do their routine work out, double checking your food intake coupled with supplements is just as potent.

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  4. I think walking is an underrated exercise. Most people don't consider it as a workout, but it is! Brisk walking has been proven many times that it is one of the most effective exercises. And you can do this even without a budget, no expensive exercise equipment to buy just to get started.

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  5. We can never take away cardio exercises in our routine because it's what helps us perform better. Most people would underestimate walking as a form of exercise, but little do they know that it's the cheapest and most doable exercise we can do everyday.

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  6. People tend to overdo cardio exercises and exhaust themselves. We must remember that adequate rest is crucial to the development of what we strive to achieve. Muscles grow as we rest so we have to balance it out.

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  7. Don't underestimate walking. It's the simplest cardio exercise we could do for ourselves. According to my close hospice patients, they regret missing this exercise when they were younger. If they took the chance to do this cardio exercise while they still could, then they would've had a lesser chance of developing these illnesses they're now suffering from.

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  8. As long as you can walk your way home. Exercise is good for our health but over fatigue can be fatal so we just have to balance it out.

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  9. The best cheapest form of exercise is walking. Or maybe climbing a a floor or two of stairs. Why take the elevator when you can climb the two floors?

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  10. A lot of Physical therapists recommend walking as part of our daily routine, this kind of exercise contributes well in a person’s health. That’s why I make it a point that every day, walking is included in my daily routine.

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  11. A lot of Physical therapists recommend walking as part of our daily routine, this kind of exercise contributes well in a person’s health. That’s why I make it a point that every day, walking is included in my daily routine.

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  12. A lot of Physical therapists recommend walking as part of our daily routine, this kind of exercise contributes well in a person’s health. That’s why I make it a point that every day, walking is included in my daily routine.

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  13. Walking is such a simple exercise, yet so powerful. If you would walk into a clinic, you'll notice most of the patients are either injured in heavy workouts OR ill because of the lack of exercise (walking, to be specific). Always make it a habit to do walking, and don't underestimate it.

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  14. Ashtanga yoga can be considered a cardiovascular exercise. It also increases our flexibility. By reading your post, I suggest that you'd try this kind of yoga, it will suit you very well.

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