We can always benefit from a healthy fitness reminder. Here are 8 powerful exercise benefits from building your cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
Let’s remind ourselves of the amazing, sometimes forgotten benefits from exercising.
Your vascular system is made up of arteries, veins and capillaries. Its main function is to circulate nutrients throughout your body so you can function at optimum levels – essentially like a well-oiled machine.
You can improve your cardiovascular fitness through aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
- Biking or Cycling
- Strengthens your heart, which is the most important muscle in your body
- Increases energy
- Lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress
- Reduces overall body fat percentage
Bone is a living tissue and needs to be strengthened too. When you combine a healthy diet, cardiovascular exercise and strength training together, you will lose more body fat per pound of weight lost.
- Lifting weights
- Walking up steep hills
- Body-weight exercises
- Lowers body fat percentage
- Increases metabolism because muscles require more energy and burn more calories than less-active fat tissue
- Increases bone mass
- Improves posture and stability
Maximize Benefits with Exercise Intensity
Use your target heart rate to judge the level of exertion for each workout. You can calculate your target heart rate by the following formula.
Resting Heart Rate
Number of heartbeats in one minute.
Simply watch a clock and count. If you have access to a heart rate monitor, wear it while you are at rest and relaxed to get a more accurate resting heart rate.
Maximum Heart Rate
220 – Age in years
This number is pretty generic and is needed for calculating the lower and upper limits shown below. Knowing that everyone is different, this number may not represent your true maximum heart rate. It gets more skewed as your age increases.
For example, the maximum heart rate of a healthy, fit 55-year-old can very easily go above 165 beats per minute.
Heart Rate Range – Lower Limit
(Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate) (0.60) + Resting Heart Rate
Your exercise intensity should stay relatively above this limit to ensure you are strengthening you heart.
Heart Rate Range – Upper Limit
(Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate) (0.85) + Resting Heart Rate
This is the upper limit, but not the maximum for your heart rate. At this point, you will feel out of breath and can maintain this intensity for short intervals.
Remember these are targets and not set in stone standards. Your exercise intensity will change overtime as you build more muscle. Also, as you get stronger, your resting heart rate will decrease, meaning that your heart doesn’t have to work as hard as it did before to get the blood pumped throughout your body. As your resting heart rate changes, be sure to re-calculate your upper and lower limits. Once a year is a good schedule to follow.
Just to give you something to strive for, Lance Armstrong’s lowest resting heart rate was 32 beats per minute.