The cardiovascular system is something that takes a lifetime to keep in shape. You can take breaks but if you stop completely, diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and high cholesterol will eventually settle and call you a home. I suffered two cardiac episodes in my life, not waiting around for a third, which they usually say is the fatal one. Oddly, they occurred after injuries to my back that prevented me from running. So if you’re like me, an active person that has suffered a set back, then you have to find alternative measures to keeping that heart in shape. We’ll start with the best cardiovascular workout and move on down the list.
- Running – Gets the heart moving and strengthens your body while shedding calories
- Swimming – If you’re like me, you can’t run anymore, then swimming is an excellent substitute for running.
- Boxing Routine – If you’re like me, don’t have a swimming pool and you have to use the one at the gym, which is always crowded, then a boxing routine is a great exercise. It’s like running with your arms. It includes skipping rope, which I can’t do nearly as well anymore (painful), shadow boxing, hitting a heavy bag, punching the mitts and working the speed bag. I did this routine when I was younger after injuring my ankle and when I went for a run, it was like I had never stop running. Except for some weakness in the legs, I ran a mile in a little over 5 minutes and wasn’t winded.
- Cycling – Amazing for the cardiovascular system without the pounding on the knees but it has some effects on your lower back.
- Weight training – Lots of reps with medium and low weights, nothing heavy, the goal here is to get your heart moving, not to look like the hulk. You should superset, work two muscle groups at a time, to confuse the muscles and get your heart working from two different muscle areas.