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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Cardio exercise beneficial

This is the third in a four-part series on healthy lifestyles.

While experts may disagree on the most effective way to do cardiovascular exercise, they all agree that it is essential for staying fit and being healthy.

"The most important thing to remember about cardio is to make it fun," UH associate professor of health and human performance Faith Foreman said. "If you don’t find a way to enjoy it, you’re not going to stick to it."

Cardiovascular exercise offers a diverse range of workout options, which can easily start at home.

"There are so many options when it comes to cardio it’s silly to do one you don’t enjoy. I prefer aerobics classes, but others might enjoy swimming or playing basketball," Foreman said.

Doing cardiovascular exercise will improve overall health by strengthening the heart and lungs, as well as improving endurance.

"A lot of people think the longer you do cardio the better," UH personal trainer Loren Salas said. "But recent science shows that doing more intense cardio for a shorter amount of time is more effective."

Duration is also dependent on the goal of the person exercising.

"Higher-intensity interval training over a shorter time period is required for weight loss. The source of calories burned during the event is second to the overall impact of the event long after it’s stopped," Salas said. "A 20 minute interval session will use more carbs than fat during the event, but once the bout is over, the heightened metabolic rate will use much more fat to serve energy requirements."

Many cardiovascular machines are equipped with faculties that can monitor one’s target heart rate – which can be critical for some routines.

"Interval training can be very effective, but I prefer my clients to stay in their target heart rate zone," personal trainer David Jenkins said. "In your target heart rate zone you burn more fat calories which is important for weight loss."

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