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Cardio Saved my Life

It was exactly one year I go I was cruising along on the treadmill at 6 miles per hour, wondering why my stomach felt so badly. I figured it was just the 24-hour bug that was going around at work and church. More on that in a minute...

I started working out in February 2011. It was tough at 276; I was sedentary. The first few sessions with the trainer were BRTUAL and I called him Attila the Hun.

My doctor released me for cardiovascular exercise. I secretly hoped it was too late for me. I had long since given up anything that caused me to sweat. My wife called me climate control boy because I used to keep the air conditioner on "Meat Locker."

So there I was doing jumping jacks and push ups with a bunch of suburban desk dwellers. It wasn't pretty. In fact one day they were filming a promo for the YMCA, and I heard the camera man say, "This shot won't work." He headed over to the weight room. Let me translate: "This is turning my stomach!"

According to Cardio is short for cardiovascular, which refers to the heart. Cardiovascular exercise is exercise that raises your heart rate and keeps it elevated for a period of time.

Here is the standard effective formula for calculating your maximum safe heart rate for cardio or aerobic exercise:

226 - (your age) = your maximum heart rate (in beats per minute (BPM))

220 - (your age) = your maximum heart rate (in beats per minute (BPM))

If you are in the 60% - 85% range, you'll see the best results. If you are like me and just about threw up, you're close to the limit - no calcualtion needed.

Here's mine:
220 - 53 x .85 = 141 Upper

220 - 53 x .60 = 100 Lower

If I walk briskly at 5 MPH I am at a HR of about 130. If I run at 7 MPH I am at about 150-160 and some days I am up at 170+ doing sprints.

There is a lot of debate over how long is effective, but I just believe that 20+ minutes is the way to go. Some sites say 10 minutes, others say 15. It appears that fat burning takes a little while to kick in. The body fuels from the blood stream if it can, then it looks for reserves. Too bad it can't use alcohol? ;)

Your intensity and the condition of your aerobic system will change this calculation. Read that, if you sweat, and do it often, you will see better results.
It turned out my sotmach flu was much worse than I thought, it was the beginning of congestive heart failure. 

After a good chat with the cardiologist, he told me that I was only alive because my heart was so strong. Then he told me this joke.

A 92 year-old man went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later the doctor saw the man walking down the street with a gorgeous young lady on his arm. At his follow up visit the doctor talked to the man and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?" The man replied, "Just doing what you said Doctor, 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful'." The Doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said you've got a heart murmur. Be careful."

"Be careful." he said.

Have a good workout!

89 votes + -


cbmcphillips wrote 125 months ago:
lol... can i be the hot momma? already cheerful...
ellie0213 wrote 125 months ago:
Yay Me! I feel like vomiting most days! I sooo rock! =D
lastchance2010 wrote 125 months ago:
wow! that was moving. congrats to you!
tnrown87 wrote 125 months ago:
Love this!
saphfireangel wrote 125 months ago:
I wanna be a hot momma too I'm just not there yet lol and I'm going to avoid the congestive heart failure all I can.
singledj wrote 125 months ago:
Yep, have felt like vomiting on more than one occasion!! Thanks for the info though.
Hungry_Tuna wrote 125 months ago:
Excellent tips here. I just calculated my HR based on the numbers above and I think I'm right on target. Now to keep it up!!

I appreciate your wisdom and helpful blog posts. Thanks so much. Always something good to think about. :)
jadedone wrote 125 months ago:
Actually there is a new formula for women:
206 - (0.88 * Your Age) = max heart rate
smileybooliz wrote 125 months ago:
Good read. Thanks!
moskinnny wrote 125 months ago:
This year I turned the age that my mother was when she died of congestive heart failure. I have been losing weight since last July because I dont want to end up like her (50lb lost so far) RIP were way to young to die
whr0411 wrote 125 months ago:
I'm at the same age as my mum was when she had her first heart attack. I've just joined the gym but get so breathless so quickly. I hope I haven't left it too late!

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