Cardiovascular exercise involves placing a demand on the heart and lungs causing them to work harder and pump more blood to the muscles in the body. It is important to keep the cardiovascular system healthy and it helps prevent various forms of disease.
Cardiovascular exercise can be achieved during your normal day of activities but also as structured exercise. Examples include walking up and down stairs, doing the housework, gardening and walking to the shops. It can also be achieved through structured sessions such as on treadmills, bikes, rowers, aerobics classes and many more activities.
How can you increase cardiovascular exercise?
- Start by identifying whether you can switch your car or transport methods for an active version such as walking or cycling. If you can’t swap then park further away from your work and get off the bus or train earlier.
- Use the stairs rather than a lift if you work in an office block
- Go for a lunchtime brisk walk, doesn’t have to be long but enough to get you breathing
- Go for an evening walk once dinner has settled so you don’t retire to the couch for several hours, it only has to be for 30 minutes.
- Increase the effort when completing housework and/or gardening
- Find an activity that your family will enjoy doing together like swimming or badminton
- Join a walking, Nordic walking, running, dancing or other types of exercise class that you might enjoy to provide some structure to your day and then you know you will achieve regular cardiovascular exercise.
Find out more at http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/fitness/Pages/Fitnesshome.aspx and download the ‘Get Active, Stay Active’ booklet to find out how you can get more exercise into your everyday life at www.bhf.org.uk