Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs through continuous movement. It also increases energy, sharpens the mind, helps manage weight and can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Examples: Biking Swimming Walking Elliptical machine
Frequency: Minimally twice a week to make any gains.
Intensity: Needs to elevate heart rate to strengthen heart.
Duration: 30-40 minutes .
Cardiovascular exercise is very important for everyone. It is important for older adults to start slow and build on the time of continuous movement. The most common form of cardiovascular exercise for older adults is biking. Many can only bike for two (2) minutes. Start at the person’s level and then add 1-2 minutes weekly until the full 30 minutes is attained.
It is more important to get to 30 minutes of consistent movement with no resistance than shorter times with higher intensity. Once 30 minutes is attained, slowly increase the intensity. Cardiovascular health is very important but it does not help with maintaining independence or reducing falls. The main reason is that it does not work on strengthening the legs. A good suggestion would be to add functional leg strengthening to any cardiovascular program. This is the best and most beneﬁcial program for all older adults.