Exercise For Your Heart How Much Is Too Much


Cardio exercises are on the rise and so are the fitness centers and gymnasiums. Youths are pumping iron and are fitness conscious. Sculptured and chiseled body is becoming favourites. On the flip side physical activity related causalities and deaths are commonly flashing in news papers. Can we prevent this? Answer is a big yes if you know what Mr. Heart wants. You should follow simple steps to ensure that you are not over exercising so that you can enjoy your training session without harming your body.

1. Know Your Maximum Heart Rate and Training Heart Rate

To check your maximum heart rate you need to subtract your age from 220.So for a young adult aged 20 his maximum heart rate works out around 200.

As a rule commonly accepted by experts if an individual is not having associated complications he can follow an intensity of 50%-85% range of his maximum heart rate. So the upper and lower limits can be found out by multiplying it with 220.So our 20 year old guy should exercise between 100-170 beats per minute while doing cardio exercise .Always try to stay within the upper and lower limits of the exercise range.

2. Check for associated medical problems before undergoing a training program

One should go for a cardiovascular and chest status screening before undertaking full fledged cardio training. Cardiac stress test can help you in exercising in a safe range without harming heart.

3. Use digitalized exercise equipment

Digital tread mills are costly but they are worth the money you spend. Digitalized equipment automatically monitors your heart rate and respiratory rate and you can maintain your heart rate at prescribed levels. Wrist watches with heart rate monitoring facilities can be used as a substitute if digitalized treadmills cannot be procured from the market.

4. Can you do the talk test?

If you cannot do all the above tests in your busy schedule then follow the simple talk test. You should be able to talk to a person without any breathlessness while doing your cardio exercise. If you are not able to do that then you should reduce your training intensity.

5. Follow a scientifically structured training session

American College of Sports Medicine recommends following three important steps

1. Warm up- should be at least 5 to 15 minutes. It is done mainly to accommodate the heart and its muscular walls to increased exercise demands.

2. Conditioning stimulus- Follow 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercises. The activity selected should be the one that you are interested in like cycling, jogging, skipping and jumping.

3. Cool down- Cool down is final stage of exercise where you reduce the intensity of your exercise gradually and finally stops the exercise.

Exercising 7 days a week will not give you a better heart. Human body requires two days of rest to replenish the lost nutrients and energy. Researchers are of opinion that 3-5 days a week is enough for health benefits.

6. Always listen to your body

No doctor knows your body better than yourself and experience is the best teacher. If you notice any discomfort, chest tightness, dizziness, uncontrolled cough immediately stop the exercise.

7. Keep your body hydrated

Always supplement with water whenever you feel thirsty. A large amount of water is lost a sweat during exercise so it is recommended to supplement your body with water at regular intervals whenever you are feeling thirsty. A light  low fat snack like a banana one hour before exercise keeps your body loaded with all the energy needed for a rigorous training session.

So in short keep on pumping the iron remembering these simple steps. Keep Mr.Heart happy to keep your body happy.



About Bibin Prasannan

A Post graduate physiotherapist specialized in orthopedics and Hand rehabilitation from manipal. His pass time hobbies includes reading books, cooking, reading Marquez. He is an avid fan of Sudha Murtys writings.
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