2012-07-06 / Community

Rockaway Walks Fitness Column

Health And Fitness Benefit To Cardio Endurance Training
Commentary By Steven McCartney, IPO, HSW, MS

Cardiorespiratory endurance training has both health (outcomes) and fitness (physiological response) benefits. Health addresses disease prevention and rehabilitation directly associated with inactivity and sedentary lifestyles. Your health is associated with cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases, cancer, musculoskeletal, psychological, and metabolic disorders. Evaluating health status categories such as medical history, risk factor assessment and stratification (arranged and classification of Coronary Heart Disease CHD), prescription medications, level of physical activity, establishment if physicians consent is necessary, results from fitness test evaluations, setting up exercise prescription and evaluating progress with follow up test. Best practices start off with completing pre-participation questionnaires. They consist of PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire designed for engagement in light to moderate intensity exercise activities), Health Status Questionnaire (screening by fitness professionals help identify medical contraindications to exercise, risk factors, and lifestyles behaviors that affect exercise and safety: Two or more risk factors for which individuals need to consult a physician), Lifestyle Evaluation questionnaire (living habits), the Informed Consent form explaining the purpose, risk, and benefits of physical fitness tests and obtaining individual consent for participation in these tests (Physical Fitness assessment: Cardiorespiratory Endurance, Muscle Strength and Endurance, Flexibility and Body Composition). The cardiorespiratory endurance test will provide information on one’s ability to perform dynamic exercise involving large muscle groups at moderate to high intensity for prolonged periods. Oxygen consumption is the most valid measure of functional capacity of the cardiorespiratory system (measures heart, lung and blood to transport oxygen to the working muscles: Also the utilization of oxygen by the muscles during exercise.)

Health and fitness activities can be combined or looked at independently. Present health recommendations for physical activity state that all U.S. adults should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, 5-7 days a week (if you exercise at moderate to vigorous intensity you should exercise at 3-5 days per week). Regulation helps you lower risk of orthopedic problems and cardiac complications. Elements of cardiorespiratory exercise workout: warm-up (increase cardiac output, blood flow to skeletal muscle, muscle temperature, body less brittle), endurance conditioning (constant, variable intensity and highly skill dependent) and cool-down (redistribute blood, recovery to normal or resting state).

Intermediate length of performance in cardiorespiratory endurance training of 20-60 minutes is predominantly aerobic (oxygen consumption or metabolism) at less than 90 percent of maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max). Environment factors are important, such as heat, humanity and state of hydration. Men and women respond similarly to training programs. Training improvement is always greater in individuals with lower initial fitness. Genetics (40%-66% VO2max) plays an important role in how an individual responds to training. Important factor for improving VO2 max (oxygen consumption) is Intensity. Three methods are interval training, long and slow distance or high intensity and continuous exercise.

Cardiorespiratory endurance training will increase oxygen consumption to large muscle groups during dynamic activities 20-60 minutes, 3-5 times a week at 50-85 percent maximum oxygen consumption. Improvement in maximum oxygen consumption is due to 50 percent increase in stroke volume from heart and 50 percent of how well oxygen is removed from blood in capillaries as the blood circulates in the body (known as arteriovenous oxygen difference; a-vO2). In addition you will see improvement in exercise post-oxygen consumption (EPOC), the recovery period from a bout of exercise.

In general benefits from aerobic and progressive training will reduce stress, increase cardio respiratory system, increase stroke volume of the heart, reduce resting heart rate, increase aerobic endurance, increase recovery from exercise and physical demands. The physiological benefits include increasing muscle strength and endurance, muscle tone, metabolism, stronger joints and bones, and endorphin production in the brain. Long-term benefits are lower regulation of stress, increased energy to participate in activities, lower body weight, managing type 2 diabetes and blood pressure and certain forms of cancer, reducing depression and reducing Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Overall, cardiorespiratory endurance training will help you gain a healthy digestive system; improve your appearance, posture body composition and feeling of well being.

This article is dedicated to the sixth anniversary of Rockaway Walks; the season (12 weeks) begins June 23 and ends September 8 (All fitness levels Welcome!!). Special thanks go out to Councilman James Sanders (and Donovan Richards, Chief of Staff), St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Joseph Addabbo Health Center, Stop N Shop, Modell’s Sporting Goods, CUNY University Student Senate, York College, The Wave newspaper, NYC Parks and Recreation and Department of Environmental Protection and Healthy Lifestyle Changes, Inc. For questions or concerns contact me at steven_ mccartney@walkprograms.com.

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