This February, challenge each of your department members to improve their cardiovascular fitness as part of American Heart Month. For the greatest health benefits, cardiovascular activity should be performed by adults for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week within your target heart rate. Heart rate should be taken immediately after exercise.
Your target heart rate should be 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. This maximum rate is based on your age. To find an estimate of your maximum age-related heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 – 50 years = 170 beats per minute (bpm). The 50 percent and 70 percent levels would be:
Thus, the moderate-intensity physical activity for a 50-year-old person requires that the heart rate remains between 85 and 119 bpm during physical activity.
To motive your department members, try sending out weekly emails with different types of cardiovascular exercises, motivational messages and quotes, and exercise tips. Seek out ways to train together as a department, such as group runs, basketball or other group sports, or bike rides. Put up a bulletin board with exercise examples in the station. Find more fitness resources and activity ideas on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program web site.
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