Excellent Exercise

Have a question about your low-carbohydrate lifestyle for our experts? Ask it here.
Philip L. Goglia

Your question:
I love water aerobics, are these good to do? Or should I try another type of exercise?

The fitness expert answers:
Water aerobics is an excellent exercise -- aerobics being exercises that strengthen the cardiovascular system; helping to decrease the risk of disease to your heart and circulatory system by helping to decrease risk factors such as excess weight or obesity, and to increase levels of HDL ("good" cholesterol) and lower your LDL ("bad" cholesterol).

Cardiovascular exercise increases the body's ability to utilize fat and to consume oxygen. What is important is that you are exercising at the Proper Aerobic Intensity. There are two ways to ensure that you are exercising with the proper aerobic intensity -- exerting yourself enough to get your heart pumping above its normal rate at rest yet still somewhat below its maximum rate:

Perceived Exertion/Talk Test -- You should always be able to carry on a conversation while you are exercising -- not necessarily the best gauge for underwater activities!

Target Heart Rate for Training -- Calculating your maximal heart rate is an excellent way to identify your target heart rate for aerobic exercise. Knowing your target heart rate zone will help you maintain an aerobic intensity that is appropriate for consistently using fat as energy during exercise. An easy way to calculate your target heart rate zone is to use the following "220 minus age" formula:

Subtract your age from 220
Multiply that number times 70 percent (.7) to get the low end of your range
Multiply that number by 80 percent (.8) to get the high end of your range.

To see that you are within this range, immediately after exercising take your pulse for six seconds and multiply that number times 10. Another way to track your heart rate while exercising is to purchase a heart monitor that fits around your wrist like a wristwatch. You can purchase this device at your local sporting goods store. PregnancyAndBaby.com

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