11 Feb The Heart Knows What It Wants
Ah yes, Valentines Day…
I suppose I could write about the top three cardio workouts for the heart with the third being… making love! Yep, I’ll bet that would get your attention. Or how about something mushy and lovey to do with this day.
Nope. Instead I’d like to remind you of the amazing gift of your very own heart. I’m going to tell you what it wants from you, what it needs from you.
The heart, as you’ve heard, is a muscle. Hmmmm, right up my alley.
That means you have got to work that thing out regularly to keep it in good shape!
But first let’s look at how that amazing muscle works to get blood flowing to where your body needs it. Check out this VIDEO here: LOVE YOUR HEART
Oh. My. Gosh. Did you watch it? This is inside of you and it’s keeping you alive! It never stops, even while you sleep. Isn’t it fascinating?!
I will never ever forget the day I learned exactly how the heart works. The perfection and intricacy of it is astounding. I believe it helps people when they learn and understand how their body works. That makes it more powerful, more personal, and they work harder to take better care of it. Too many take their bodies for granted and then wonder what the heck happened when things go bad.
So many people that are way too young in my opinion, have stints, grafts, pacemakers and/or are on blood thinners…or worse. Let’s look at some ways you can take better care of yourself and make your heart stronger so it, and you, last longer and age better.
You need to start on the ground floor when you begin to build your cardiovascular foundation. Whether your goals are to strengthen your heart and lungs for endurance (not to huff and puff up the stairs) or to lose body fat, there is a specific way to work your body to accomplish these goals.
My clients fill out forms for me and in one category they tell me how “fit” they feel they are in the cardiovascular department. I put them up on my elliptical, usually for only three minutes, and then we check out what their heart rate is registering at. That number tells a little story and let’s me know where we need to begin to build it stronger. Usually they are huffing and puffing and way over their limit. So I pick a lower number in their range and tell them to stick to that and only that number for two weeks!
Your body uses two things when doing cardio. It uses stored fat and glycogen for fuel. If your goal is for fat loss, you need to figure out what your fat burn zone (FBZ) is so you can use more fat for your fuel while on the treadmill! Here is the formula to find out what yours is:
–54 (your age) hush, that’s mine…
166 (Maximum Heart Rate)
Now take MHR (167) and multiply by 60% = @ 100
Then take MHR (167) and multiply by 85% = @ 142
So for me to use more body fat for fuel while doing cardio and build my cardiovascular endurance, I will keep my heart rate between 100-142.
Do you start building a wall in the middle? Nope. We need to build it up from the foundation, one brick on top of the other.
Your body acclimates to everything you give it. You do not have to be overweight to have a poor cardiovascular system by the way. However, if you’re feeding it junk, have excess body fat, and are weak in strength – it’s going to struggle.
So go slow in the beginning. Keep your heart rate on the low range of the middle range of your numbers. You should be able to take deep breaths easily and control your heart rate at that one number. Start there five days a week for 45 minutes and you will see that after a couple weeks it gets easier and you can go just a little faster, a little longer, and build up to 45-60 minutes. Take your breaths deep in through the nose, deep into the belly, below the diaphragm. Exhaling through your mouth. This will help you to oxygenate your blood even more.
Great job! You are gaining strength in your heart and lungs. Now, kick it up a notch, still keeping it in your zone. Then, after a couple more weeks, do some intervals. Five minutes into your walk, pump it up 5-10 hearbeats for two minutes, back down for five minutes while controlling your heart rate with breath, then up to two again, throughout your cardio workout.
I see so many people going “balls to the walls” on the cardio equipment and they wonder why things aren’t moving… off their body. It’s because when you are out of your fat burn zone you will utilize more glycogen for energy and fuel instead of fat. That is fine. Nothing wrong with that. But what’s your end goal? Marathon? No huffing and puffing going up the stairs? Weight and fat loss? Then go slower and build it up!
So, there you have it. Where your heart and lungs are concerned, that’s how you build it strong friend.
For life-long health and wellness there are THREE major areas to building a strong, healthy, fit you. To learn how to do all three in unison, correctly – so it works, come see me. I help in these areas to get you the jaw dropping results you want.
1) Nutrition is the number one thing we work on! What you eat can kill you and hurt your heart. And at my studio, it’s first on our agenda!
2) Strength Training/Muscles: You will walk away from your course with knowledge, habits and skills, along with fabulous results. You have to Learn It and Earn It before you Own It!
3) and finally, your Heart (cardiovascular).
So learn your heart, know your heart and take care of it! (and stay away from the chocolates will ya already?!)
Very truly yours,