Cardio-Vascular (aerobic) Training

A couple of posts ago was about getting back to basics with weight training. Now I'd like to get back to basics with CV (aerobic) Training.
CV Training is about getting your heart (cardio) and circulatory (vascular) systems working efficiently; it's any activity that involves big muscle groups working rhythmically in a continuous effort. Walking, cycling and swimming are great CV exercises that are easy on the joints and which are accessible to most people. Other exercises that fit the bill are jogging, running, rowing, kayaking, skipping, walking/running up and down stairs...
I think the best CV activity at this time of year is shopping. The other day I found myself carrying a bag of groceries in each hand walking from one end of the Canberra Centre to the other and it occurred to me that this is what the gym exercise 'farmer's walk' replicates. If you are buying gifts try to load up your bags evenly and be mindful of your posture as you carry your bags from store to store. There's a natural warm up as you start with no bags and load up as you move from one shop to another. The cool down is unloading the shopping and putting your feet up!

To increase your CV fitness you need to do more than you're doing now. A small increment can have big effects. Some examples:
  • Just starting out, rather sedentary and working in an office - look at incidental exercises like taking the stairs instead of the lift, taking a 10 minute walk during your lunch break.
  • A little active - build up to 30 minutes every day. Easy if you have a dog or can walk to your local shops.
  • Reasonably active - make sure you do one 30 minute session a week at a higher intensity than your regular activity.
  • Very fit and active - the fitter you get the harder you have to work to not only get fitter but also to maintain your fitness. Events are a great way to shake up routines and to focus your training regime - fun runs, cycling events, sports, triathlons...
Listen to your heart and your breathing and adjust the level of intensity for the duration of your session and to your individual health concerns.

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