Cardiovascular exercises must be done to keep you healthy, but if you have medical restrictions that keep you from being able to do certain types of exercises you may be wondering what you can do to stay physically fit. If you have a bad back, a medical condition like Fibromyalgia, or arthritis you won’t be able to jog or lift large amounts of weight, but there are exercises you can do that will not only help you lose weight and get in shape, but they will help you build enough strength to be able to do more and more exercises.
Walking is one of the best cardio exercises anyone can do. It’s recommended that people walk at least five miles a day, but that isn’t always possible. If you are new to working out, start with a mile then build. Walk one mile for five days in a row, no matter how long it takes you. Each day you should increase your speed so that you eventually can walk one mile in 13 minutes, which is the speed you will need to be at to get your heart rate up. Once you are able to do this you can start adding in more miles. Over time, in an hour and a half you should be able to walk five miles and if you have the time you can do this five days a week for a great workout.
Swimming and water training
Swimming is great for many people because your body is weightless in the water. Every movement you make is barely felt in the water, so you can do squats, lunges, stomach crunches, and more in the pool and barely feel the effects- until you get out of the pool. If you do water training or swimming, you should always be prepared to take a rest afterwards because you don’t realize how hard you are working out and you can tire quickly after getting out of the pool.
An elliptical is a machine that you stand in and use your arms and legs to move. Much like the pool it makes you weightless so that you don’t really feel the impact of working out. This is particularly great for people who have arthritis and can’t put too much pressure on their joints. The machine also helps you start out slowly and build momentum, and it can even add resistance for you as you build strength. It’s easy to monitor your progress with an elliptical machine because many of them come with monitors that tell you what your heart rate was and how many calories you burned.
A bicycle is great for building strength and cardiovascular health, but it can put a ton of strain on joints. If you aren’t able to have stress on your joints, this can be an exercise you need to avoid, but if you use a stationary bike you can get the same benefits of using a traditional bike. Much like the elliptical, the stationary bike is a machine that takes the stress off of your joints. You aren’t actually being propelled forward, so there is no need to put pressure on the pedals. You do, however, get the benefit of a raised heart rate and using your muscles.
Aerobics aren’t just a fun workout form the 1980s. It’s a fantastic cardio exercise that has many benefits. It increases flexibility and tones muscles. It also can be done in various amounts, intensity levels, and stages so that you don’t stress your joints or body too much until you are able to build up your fitness level. Start out slow and only do a few minutes at a time, but build up to doing more exercises. You can do these at home or in a gym with a trainer, or even take classes with friends.
If you have restrictions that keep you from doing certain types of exercises, you can do one (or all) of the above, usually no matter your restrictions. Start these slowly, and over time you can build strength to do the exercises more often and maybe even branch into other exercises. These will help you keep your heart rate up and slowly build strength, which is ideal for people who have suffered an injury or illness and can’t immediately jump into hard weight training. For best results you should always consult a professional before starting any workout program and monitor your progress every four weeks.
So what cardio exercises do you usually do? Do you find success in doing those and how often do you exercise? I’m looking for some feedback to help get myself into better shape.