Cardiovascular Fitness and Weight Loss

By Patricia Zelm Emmart CHHC, AADP

The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood vessels, including veins, arteries and capillaries. During exercise this system delivers oxygen to the muscles, along with nutrients to the body’s tissues.

If weight loss is your goal, increasing your metabolism is going to be necessary. This will take a combination of cardiovascular exercise and paying close attention to what you are eating.

It is important to keep your target heart rate in mind during your exercise routine. To calculate your maximum heart rate, take 220 and subtract your age. This will give the number needed. Example, if you are 35 years old, your max heart rate is 185 (220-35).

Here’s a list of a few cardio exercises to choose from and try:

  • Power Walking
  • Running
  • Aerobics
  • Jumping Rope
  • Elliptical Machine
  • Bicycling

Eating a well balanced diet of whole foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein will help your body have energy to workout.

Here are a few ways to rev up your weight loss:

  • Never skip any meals:
    Fasting once or twice a year in short periods to cleanse your system is not a bad thing to do. However, eating regular meals otherwise is an important way to keep your body burning calories.
  • Spice up your food:
    Adding spice will do 2 things for weight loss. One, it will help your body burn calories effectively. Two, you will feel more satisfied when you finish eating your meal.
  • Drink enough water:
    Being that your body is mostly made up of water, the lack of it will slow down your metabolism.
  • Get into an exercise program:
    Find an exercise and time that works for you. Mark it on your calendar, so it becomes a part of your daily routine.
  • Get good sleep:
    If you lack sleep, you will lack energy. Also, the lack of sleep can decrease the efficiency that your body burns calories and will slow down your weight loss.

Remember, there is no magical way to rev up your metabolism and for you to lose weight. It’s simply through exercise and watching what you eat.

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