Oh, exercise. We all know it is good, and we should do it. So what can Middleway Method possibly say that’s new and insightful? Not much. But, it turns out that sometimes the basics become new and insightful – especially when there are so many fancy things to choose from. So let’s get down to the basics.
Part 1: Cardio
Cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise is any activity that:
- involves the large muscles of the body (especially the legs)
- is rhythmic and continuous in nature (as opposed to stop-and-start)
- challenges your heart and lungs to work harder
Activities like walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, rowing, stair climbing, hiking, cross country skiing and many types of dancing are aerobic activities. Sports such as soccer, basketball, squash and tennis also improve your cardiovascular fitness.
To get the complete health benefits of cardiovascular exercise, you have to bring our heart rate up to your target heart rate for 30-45 minutes, 3-5 days a week. To check your heart rate, find your pulse on your wrist and count it for fifteen seconds, then multiply that number by four.
Middleway Method recommends that everyone with physician’s approval engages in regular cardiovascular exercise for your whole life starting today. Even if you experience movement limitations due to age, injury, disability, or disease, it is often still possible to find movements that you can do to bring your heart rate up without causing problems.
Cardiovascular exercise can easily be done for free. Tobin Rangdrol, one of the co-founders of Middleway Method says, “Walk up a hill.” There are also thousands of free cardio training routines available on YouTube. All you have to do is jump around in your living room for a while.
The real key to successful cardiovascular exercise is finding something that you enjoy doing, that doesn’t hurt your body in any way, that you can do for 30-45 minutes without going into exhaustion. And then, of course, you have to do it 3-5 days a week, for the rest of your life.
The Middleway Method lifestyle recommendation is to wake at 6:00 a.m., have a glass of warm water and a piece of fruit, and begin your cardiovascular exercise at around 6:30 a.m. That way, you can finish your workout at around 7:30 a.m., with plenty of time to cook and eat breakfast.
Cardiovascular exercise literally increases the blood supply to every cell in your body. It changes the way that your cells use nutrients, making them much more efficient. It is the single most important factor in maintaining healthy body weight. It improves immune function, reduces the risk of heart disease, and strengthens your bones. Coupled with a balanced diet of whole foods, cardiovascular exercise is the most beneficial thing you can do for your physical health. And nearly everyone who makes regular cardiovascular exercise a part of their lives will tell you that it does wonders for their mental health too.