THE HEART AND AEROBIC CONDITIONING
The heart is a pure powerhouse muscle. It responds to exercise the same way an ordinary muscle does. We can make it more powerful or we can let it get scrawny and weak. "When you hold a human heart in your hand, it feels like a piece of filet mignon," says Michael Crawford, M.D., Chief of Cardiology at the University of New Mexico Health Science Center. "Only it's hollow, so it gives a little more when you squeeze it, but it's basically just muscle."
- NOTE: An average heart weighs 300g (10.7 ozs.) and is about the size of a fist.
- The average resting heart rate is 66/72 beats per minute (bpm). A well-trained endurance athlete is 40 bpm. The lowest on record is 28 bpm (Miguel Indurain, a Spanish cyclist). My resting heart rate is 38 bpm.
Paul D. Thompson, M.D., Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of Preventive Cardiology indicates, "A slow heart rate is absolutely beneficial for health, in fact, there are about nine studies showing that people with the slowest heart rates live the longest."
A well-trained heart can be 30 to 40% larger than a normal heart and pump 50% more blood with each beat.
According to Dr. Crawford, " You can demonstrate significant changes in heart strength in four to six weeks." A strong heart is like buying life insurance. The required premium is REGULAR installments of CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE.
At 0600 hours, Mr. Barry understands that
CONSISTENCY and EFFORT
are the keys to a Strong Heart.
There are three specific beneficial changes that occur in your heart with CONSISTENT aerobic conditioning.
"Because the heart is a hollow organ, there are two ways to make it bigger. One would be to put more blood into it, stretching it out as if you were blowing up a balloon. The other would be to actually grow more meat," explains Dr. Crawford. What happens in an exerciser's heart is that it does both. It holds more blood, and there's actually more tissue there.
YOUR HEART WILL PUMP MORE BLOOD WITH EVERY BEAT.
Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't pump any more forcefully. Rather, the larger chambers simply hold and subsequently eject more.
YOUR HEART WILL SLOW DOWN.
Since it is pumping out more blood with every contraction, the fit person's heart does not need to beat as often.
- YOUR HEART WILL BECOME LARGER.
Reference: Brave Heart by Joe Kita, Bicycling, 8/98
MY CLIENTS train with a heart monitor because:
- The heart rate is a true indicator of work output and stress level.
- The monitor helps to ensure my clients do not exceed their established safe, working heart rate.
- As I become familiar with my client's particular heart range, it will assist in guiding our training sessions and ensure proper recovery time.
- A fluctuation in heart rate can indicate the physiological condition of a client during our training session.
- Poor rest or nutrition the day before a training session. The client may perceive a higher work intensity level than the heart monitor indicates.
- A higher heart rate (monitor reading) than normal during exercise could mean the client is not breathing properly.
- Establishes a reference point to monitor and ensure progression. For example, the client is feeling stronger and doing more during their exercise session, yet, their heart rate is lower (4 to 6 weeks).
"This is the measurable feeling of the journey to a stronger heart!"
Health & Happiness!