Cardio-respiratory endurance is considered to be the most important of the five health-related fitness components. Aerobic exercise provides a long list of benefits from a decrease in risks for diseases to improved body composition. One of the most essential organs affected by exercise is the lungs.
Aerobic capacity describes the condition of the cardio-respiratory system which includes the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Aerobic capacity is defined as the maximum volume of oxygen that can be consumed by one's muscles during exercise. The higher a cardio-respiratory endurance level, the more oxygen is transported to exercising muscles and the longer exercise can be maintained without exhaustion and accordingly the faster a person is able to run. The higher the aerobic capacity, the higher is the level of aerobic fitness.
Lungs play a vital role during exercise because they deliver oxygen to blood and remove carbon dioxide released as waste from working muscles. Oxygen is critical during exercise because muscles need it to burn the energy they need to continue contracting. When performing repetitive aerobic activities, such as walking, swimming, jogging or bicycling, large muscles are engaged in the legs, hips and arms. This engagement increases muscles' oxygen requirements.
To meet these requirements, breathing rate increases, and the diaphragm pulls in greater amounts of air with each breath.
So how much aerobic exercise is necessary to improve lung function? The answer to this question is dependent upon the individual's age, weight, overall health and other factors but a good rule of thumb is to follow the FIT principles: frequency, intensity and time. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends aerobic activity to be performed three to five times a week, at 60 percent to 85 percent of maximum heart rate for 20 to 60 minutes.
On July 30, hundreds of people will huff and puff their way up and down the stairs in the North Charleston Coliseum by participating in the Fight for Air Climb and Ultra Climb. This event is a great way to improve lung function while having fun. Whether climbing for a winning time or simply to cross the finish line in honor or in memory of someone with lung disease, this event is a great challenge.
Join the MUSC Team by visiting http://www.lungusa.org/pledge-events/sc/north-charleston-climb/, click "join a team" and click on MUSC. The first 20 people to register will receive a free pedometer. Email email@example.com for information or to claim your pedometer. For information on help to quit smoking, visit the American Lung Association at lungusa.org.
Employee Wellness events
- Mobile mammograms: The Hollings Cancer Center Mobile Van will be conducting mammograms from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 17 next to the Basic Science Building loading dock, behind the College of Dental Medicine. Call 792-0878 to schedule an appointment.
- Worksite screening: The next screening will be held Aug. 25 in 2W Classroom in the university hospital. The screening is $15 with the State Health Plan and $42 without. Register at http://www.musc.edu/medcenter/ health1st.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to become involved in employee wellness at MUSC.