I have a simple question, from a cardiac perspective, how much exercise is enough? I have heard everything froom 30 minutes at least three days per wek, to most days of the week to every day of the week. Does the amount depend on the individual? In my case, I am a 49 year old male with controlled blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, no family history and have never smoked. I am still 50 pounds over weight but have lost 50 pounds in 1 1/2 years. I am limited in what I can do due to the OA in my knees and RA everywhere else, but besides the knee pain I have no\problems or other symptoms while exercising, I just need to keep it under a run and stay a a fast walking rate. Right now, I'm doing 45 mins per day on a treadmill or until I burn 500 calories and get in 3 miles at a minimum, even on days I travel, I always find the exercise room. Some days it takes longer than others depending on my knees. I am able to maintain 80 -90 % of my maximum heart rate for about 40 mins before i start my cool down. I watch my blood pressure and heart rate and have appropriate responses on both plus I recover quickly. Is this overkill, am I keeping my heart rate too high? I feel like I'm failing when I have a day I can't exercise due to an illness or if my knees are not up to it. What is the ideal amount of exercise to keep one's heart healthy?
It depends on what your goals are. If you want to simply loose weight with diet and aerobic exercise, then you are maintaining your heart rate at too high a rate: you should be aiming for 60-75% of your maximum heart rate, not 90%. If you want to build endurance than hoot for faster heart rates. You should exercise enough to loose the extra 50 pounds you have on, so that you avert the metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus which can develop as a direct consequence of being overweight. Once you do that 30 minutes of exercise, with appropriate warm up and cool down periods, for 1 hour with a goal heart rate of 60-75% of maximum or limited by any sympotms of chest pain or shortness of breath should be sufficient to maintain the cardiovascular and muscular-skeletal systems in good condition. It is actually known that exercising too strenously ( as in a triathlon or marathon) is actually injurious to the body, and we cannot recommend that sort of very strenuous exercise.
I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. :) I wanted to commend you on your routine first off. I think the fact you are keeping an 80-90% rate is wonderful and the fact that you recover quicklyl is great. I am only 24 and have recently been diagnosed with a very troubling heart problem. Prior to this, which was only in June I was extremely healthy with a very intense cardio/weight training regimine. Now I'm just thankful I am back to the point where I can do yoga and light weights. I also can walk a couple blocks without ending up in the ER with an uncontrolled heart rate. I'm just ranting I guess. It's hard to go from running marathons to having a difficult time climbing my one flight of stairs. I wish you the best of luck on your exercise and hope those last 50 pounds come easily. :)
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