What Is An.Acceptable Blood Pressure For.A.65 Year Old.Man Cardiovascular Fitness is About Physics Not Physique

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Cardiovascular Fitness is About Physics Not Physique

When people think of cardiovascular fitness, they often envision a young man with 6-pack abs and rippling muscles. You can find him in commercials stumping for the latest power drink, diet pill, or very expensive workout equipment. All touting, “You’ll look like me too!” In truth, crash diets and unrealistic workout routines have very little to do with fitness. True fitness has more to do with physique than physique. So what does Cardiovascular Fitness mean? To answer that question, we need to define it.

The Centers for Disease Control defines Cardiovascular Fitness as “the body’s ability to take in, transport, and use oxygen.”*1 In other words, is your body using oxygen efficiently? Consider the factors that affect oxygen efficiency.

* How Oxygen Enters the System

* Oxygen in the Blood

* Ware and Tear on the System

* Heart Strength

How Oxygen Enters the System

Room air contains only 16% oxygen. As you inhale, oxygen enters the lungs and moves to the bloodstream through gas exchange. If you breathe through damaged lungs, however, the percentage of oxygen absorbed into the bloodstream drops dramatically. Conversely, carbon dioxide and other waste gases are not exhaled efficiently and accumulate in the body.

Oxygen in the Blood Stream

Components in the blood called hemoglobin or red blood cells collect oxygen molecules in the lungs and transport them throughout the body. Hemoglobin exchanges oxygen for carbon dioxide molecules then transports them back to the lungs. Along the way, fats, sugars and plaques are also collected. These components are sticky much like slime and stick to the vessel walls. This narrows the passage causing the walls to become ridged and hard increasing the pressure needed to move the blood through the narrow openings. This strains the heart as it struggles to maintain the increase in blood pressure.

Ware and Tare on the System

From the moment you were conceived until you die, your heart moves. Beating an average of 80 beats per minute, 4,800 beats per hour, 115,200 beats per day, and 42,076,800 beats per year all without rest. After 50 years, your heart will beat an average of 2,103,840,000 times without rest. Preventive maintenance is a key element in keeping the body running smoothly and feeling great.

Heart Strength

All muscles have one thing in common. If you don’t use it: you will lose it. If you do not exercise your heart muscle, it can loose muscle tone becoming weak and enlarged. Your heart is no longer able to pump efficiently. As oxygen levels decrease, the body reacts by closing off circulation to the extremities. Symptoms may include confusion, coldness in the extremities and shortness of breath.

To avoid this domino effect, The American Heart Association along with the American College of Sports Medicine recommend the following guidelines. “For adults 18-65 at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 5 days a week.”*2 You can choose the activity and when.

What does Cardiovascular Fitness mean? It is the health of the entire cardiovascular system that ensures the best efficient use of oxygen. As with any great endeavor, it all starts with the first step. So what are you waiting for?

Getting started

* Let your doctor know that you are starting a cardiovascular fitness program. Your doctor can give you some perimeters to start with and some reasonable goals to work towards.

* Choose a program or activities that you enjoy.

Your program should include FIT*3

Frequency (number of times per week)

Intensity (the speed or workload of an activity)

Time (duration of each session)

* Now gather your support team who will encourage you not to put yourself down.

* Then journal your experiences, successes and your milestones. Seeing how far you’ve come will inspire you to keep going for the rest of your long, happy, healthy, life.

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