Cardio exercise refers to aerobic activity that raises the heart rate. When the heart rate is raised, the heart muscle is strengthened, and more oxygen can freely flow to the cells within the body. Cardio activity is especially important for men over 70. Not only does exercise promote physical as well as mental health, it can act as a preventative measure to decrease other health problems commonly associated with aging, such as arthritis.
Hitting the Target Heart Rates
The target heart rate for men over 70 is roughly 75 to 128 beats per minute, according to the American Heart Association. The maximum heart rate, for when you are participating in exercise, should be no more than 150 beats per minute. A good way to measure the maximum heart rate is to try to talk while doing physical activity. If you are gasping for breath, the workout is too intense. Additionally, high blood pressure medications and other heart and health problems may affect an individual’s target heart rates. Seniors over 70 should consult a physician before beginning an aerobic routine.
Get Your Blood Pumping
Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, but it can also include daily chores, such as pushing a lawn mower or vacuuming. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a mixture of both moderate and vigorous cardio exercises for optimal health. More vigorous activities for men over 70 include jogging, running, cycling and swimming. The CDC also recommends muscle-strengthening activities two days per week. Exercises such as lifting weights, pushups, sit-ups and yoga are ideal.
Exercise Duration and Intensity
Seniors need at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. For a maximum health benefit, 300 minutes of moderate activity or 150 minutes of vigorous activity is recommended by the CDC. A great way to break down these blocks of time is to exercise in 10-minute increments, in order to prevent fatigue.
In it Together
It can be difficult to begin an exercise routine by yourself. Taking a fitness class with other older adults is a great way to begin cardio activity. A group class can make an aerobic routine more exciting and provide companionship. Local communities usually have classes meant solely for seniors, such as yoga, aquatics, muscle strengthening, Tai chi and Zumba. And many large cities offer cycling tours designed for seniors as well. Using a friend as a walking or jogging partner is another way to help relieve the monotony of exercise.