Cardiac Rehabilitation: Let's Exercise

December 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Before you your body needs time to get blood to the parts of your body that you are going to exercise.  If you start exercising before your body is ready, you may hurt yourself.  So, before you begin to exercise:

  • Warm up the muscles you will be using.  For example, if you plan on walking, walk slowly for 5 minutes before you really get into walking briskly.  If bike riding is what you want to do, go slowly for 5 minutes before you go faster.
  • Stretch your muscles.  After the blood has moved into your muscles, you need to stretch them.  This is to help prevent painful muscle pulls, cramps and soreness during and/or after exercising.  Never stretch cold muscles.  Also, remember to breathe while exercising.

Get Moving

Your heart needs to be strong to pump well.  You can make your heart stronger with only 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercises 3-6 days a week.

Aerobic exercises are ones in which you move your arms and legs the whole time you do them.  Walking, jogging, dancing and cycling are aerobic.  After only a few months of regular exercise:

  • Your hear can pump more blood and oxygen to your lungs and through your body
  • You will likely have more energy
  • You may sleep better and feel less stress
  • You may find your blood pressure has gone down (your blood glucose too)
  • You can lose body fat and help tone up your muscles
  • Your good cholesterol (HDL) level may go up

After You Exercise

Before you stop exercising, slow your pace and cool down just like you warmed up.  This lets your body gently return blood from your muscles to other places.  Then stretch your muscles again.  This helps prevent soreness later.

Tags: Sports medicine, Exercise physiology, Muscular system, exercise, Physical exercise, Aerobic exercise

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