Cardiovascular Training Recommendations

When it comes to weight management, of the Big Three (Nutrition/Cardiovascular/Resistance) methods, Cardiovascular training is the 2nd most important aspect. Research has shown that Resistance training alone will not reduce a great deal of weight, unless programming is developed towards more endurance or cardiovascular training. We are not saying to not resistance train, because it does have many benefits of its own. Rather, let us help you develop your program to your specific needs, so you may be able to reach your goals using all three methods correctly. In any fitness program we believe not having a Heart Rate Monitor device could be your biggest mistake. We use Polar Heart Rate and Fitness Tracking monitors for our everyday activity tracking and athletic training uses because of the reliability and quality of the devices. They are used in almost every research article for exercise science and are required by Health Insurance companies for specific tests such as Workman's Capacity Assessments and Cardiopulmonary Assessments. This reliability has made Polar the Gold Standard when it comes to heart rate monitoring during activity.


Importance of Cardiovascular Training

Improvement in Cardiovascular and Respiratory Function

  • Increased maximal oxygen uptake resulting from both central and peripheral adaptations
  •  Decreased minute ventilation at a given absolute submaximal intensity
  • Decreased myocardial oxygen cost for a given absolute submaximal intensity
  •  Decreased heart rate and blood pressure at a given submaximal intensity
  •  Increased capillary density in skeletal muscle
  •  Increased exercise threshold for the accumulation of lactate in the blood
  •  Increased exercise threshold for the onset of disease signs or symptoms (e.g., angina pectoris, ischemic ST-segment depression, claudication) 

Reduction in Coronary Artery Disease Risk Factors

  • Reduced resting systolic/diastolic pressures
  • Increased serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and decreased serum triglycerides
  • Reduced total body fat, reduced intra-abdominal fat
  • Reduced insulin needs, improved glucose tolerance
  • Reduced blood platelet adhesiveness and aggregation 

Decreased Morbidity and Mortality

  • Primary prevention (i.e., interventions to prevent the initial occurrence)
  • Higher activity and/or fitness levels are associated with lower death rates from coronary artery disease
  • Higher activity and/or fitness levels are associated with lower incidence rates for combined cardiovascular diseases, coronary artery disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporotic fractures, cancer of the colon and breast, and gallbladder disease
  • Secondary prevention (i.e., interventions after a cardiac event [to prevent another])
  •  Based on meta-analyses (pooled data across studies), cardiovascular and all-cause mortality are reduced in post myocardial infarction patients who participate in cardiac rehabilitation exercise training, especially as a component of multifactorial risk factor reduction
  • Randomized controlled trials of cardiac rehabilitation exercise training involving post myocardial infarction patients do not support a reduction in the rate of nonfatal reinfarction

Other Benefits

  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Enhanced physical function and independent living in older persons
  •  Enhanced feelings of well-being
  •  Enhanced performance of work, recreational, and sport activities
  • Reduced risk of falls and injuries from falls in older persons
  • Prevention or mitigation of functional limitations in older adults
  • Effective therapy for many chronic diseases in older adults

~ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Ninth Edition

American College of Sports Medicine's FITT Principle current recommendations

Frequency - > or equal to 5 days per week of moderate exercise, or > or equal to 3 days per week of vigorous exercise, or a combination of moderate to vigorous exercise on > or equal to 3-5 days per week.

Intensity - Moderate and/or vigorous intensity is recommended for most adults. Light-to-moderate inensity exercise may be beneficial in deconditioned individuals. 

Time - 30-60 min/day of purposeful moderate exercise, or 20-60 min/day of vigorous exercise, or a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise per day for most adults. <20 min of exercise per day can be beneficial, especially in previously sedentary individuals. 

Type - Regular, purposeful exercise that involves major muscle groups and is continuous and rhythmic in nature is recommended.

Volume - A tager volume of > or equal to 500-1000 MET/min/week. Increasing pedometer steps counts by >200 setps per day to reach a daily step count of >7000 steps is beneficial. Weight loss >10000 steps. 

Pattern - Exercise may be performed in one (continuous) session per day or in multiple sessions of >10 mins to accumulate the desired duration and volume of exercise per day. Exercise bouts of <10 mins may yield favorable adaptations in very deconditioned individuals.

Progression - A gradual progression of exercise volume by adjusting exercise duration, frequency, and/or intensity is reasonable until the desired exercise goal (maintenance) is attained. This approach may enhance adherence and reduce risks of musculoskeletal injury and adverse cardiac events.


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