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Focus on Aerobic Cardio Activity to Prevent Disease

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Aerobic Cardio

Aerobic cardio exercise is essential for better health. The prevalence of diabetes, obesity, and confounding inability for many people to lose weight begs for a focus on aerobic cardio activity to prevent and treat a variety of diseases.

Studies increasingly support the notion that moderate activity alone fails short for helping Americans remain healthy, manage existing illness, and for reversing existing disease. Aerobic cardio fitness, even performed at short intervals, may be the answer to weight control and disease management.

Recent and past studies support the importance of aerobic cardio activity to improve insulin resistance that leads to weight gain and is associated with aging. Adding to the positive effects of aerobic cardio activity, studies also show that aerobic cardio fitness is also associated with the following health benefits:

· Pain relief

· Treatment of depression

· Appetite suppression

· Decreased cognitive decline with aging

· Lower risk of fatty liver disease associated with diabetes

· Improved sleep

· Deceleration of the aging process

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· Maintenance of muscle mass with aging

· Reduced risk of colon cancer

· Treatment of heart failure

According to a study from the American Physiological Society, “a single session of exercise ‘steers’ muscle fat towards oxidation, thereby avoiding the accumulation of fat by-products.” Just one session of aerobic cardio activity increased fatty acid oxidation in the study of overweight women, following a session of overeating. The women also showed improvement in overall function. (1)

A Norwegian pilot study showed that aerobic cardio activity reversed metabolic syndrome in just sixteen weeks, and was superior to continuous moderate activity for treating high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance and abdominal obesity, the cluster of conditions that comprise metabolic syndrome and put us at risk for stroke and heart disease.

The Norwegian study, led by Dr Ulrik Wisløff (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), questioned today’s recommendations for exercise, given the high rates of obesity and diabetes. From the study, Wisløff and colleagues concluded, “shorter and harder training sessions may be good medicine for improved fitness and reversal — and prevention — of established cardiovascular risk factors."

Dr. Wisløff also asked that the benefits of added regular aerobic cardio activity be “taken seriously by medical doctors.” Adding to the notion that regular aerobic cardio activity is essential, Wisløff said, “Look at the effects of today's recommendations: they do not work, or we do not get people to exercise as much as recommended. Instead, more and more people get fat and get metabolic syndrome.”

Aerobic cardio fitness means increasing your heart rate to deliver more oxygen to the muscles. Aerobic cardio activity should be comfortable. The general goal is to increase your heart rate between 60 and 80 percent of the maximum predicted heart rate for your age. Target heart rate is also based on your own resting heart rate, and activity level.

Exercises that increase heart rate and considered cardio aerobic, include brisk walking, swimming, cycling, tennis, upper body exercise, and vigorous sports activities such as soccer and basketball. Remember, it is never too late to being focusing on cardio aerobic fitness to help prevent and treat disease.

Speak with your doctor first and never start new aerobic cardio fitness programs without a complete checkup, especially if you have been sedentary.

(1) APS

Also see the following, which includes discussion on Aerobic Cardio



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