Cardio Is Key

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Do you exercise? If so, do you exercise enough? For most people, the answer may be no. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported nearly 80 percent of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of weekly exercise.

So, what’s our goal? To help support overall cardiovascular health in adults, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. At first glance, these numbers may be intimidating. Carving out two and a half hours of exercise a week is a luxury many may not have. Fortunately, short workouts can still achieve great results.

“From a pure cardiovascular standpoint, five days of 30 minutes of low-moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, is good enough for maintenance of health,” says Dr. George Chrysant, an interventional cardiologist with INTEGRIS Cardiovascular Physicians at INTEGRIS Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City.

He points out that while there is data supporting the view that exercise can be broken up into smaller increments, he recommends continuous exercise.

“A silly analogy I like to use is brushing your teeth. We brush our teeth every day, morning and night, for what purpose? To prevent cavities. Aerobic exercise is the ‘toothbrush’ to prevent the ‘cavities’ in our heart and arteries.”

Jennifer Daley, health and wellness coordinator at Saint Francis Health Zone in Tulsa, says that depending on an individual’s personal goals, health benefits can come from breaking up the time into segments.

“For beginners, the 30-minute recommendation can be overwhelming. If five minutes of exercise is a person’s limit, do it and th