Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is physical activity that gets your heart beating faster and keeps your heart rate elevated for an extended period of time (ideally over 20 minutes at your target heart rate (see Below). People suffering from lower right back pain should avoid exercise that requires twisting or forward flexion (rowing machine or P90X) – these activities can increase disc pressure and may cause further damage. You should also avoid high-impact activities if you have degenerative disk disease. For fitness 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week is ideal. Aerobic exercises require the heart, lungs and large muscles of the body to work together.
Target Heart Rate: (50 – 85% of your maximum)
To find your target heart rate You need to determine your maximum heart rate. Your Maximum heart rate is roughly 220 minus your age. Once You have the maximum number multiply that by your target percentage (55% – 85%). For example a 50 year old man would have a maximum heart rate of 170 (220-50) . So he should exercise in the range between 94 beat (170 x 55%) and 145 beats a minute (170 x 85%).
As you exercise, periodically:
- Take your pulse on the inside of your wrist (on the thumb side) or on your neck below jawbone.
- Use the tips of your first two fingers (not your thumb) to press lightly over the blood vessels.
- Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to find your estimated beats per minute.
- Some ideal types of Aerobic exercise are jogging, fast walking and swimming. If back pain or your fitness level make it impossible to exercise 30 minutes at a time, try three 10-minute sessions to start with and work up to your goal.
Before starting any exercise program make sure you get clearance from your doctor and discuss the ideal and safest exercise for you.