Can you get a cardiovascular workout from just standing still?
Well, recently I experimented with the basic Embrace the Tree posture which involves standing with your feet about shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and holding both arms out in front of your chest, forming a circle.
As a rough guide I used the following generally accepted formula:
- 220 – age = maximum heart rate (beats per minute)
- 60-85% of the maximum heart rate = an ideal zone for a effective workout
For example a forty-year-old person using the above formula:
- 220-40 = 180 maximum heart rate.
- 60% 0f 180 =108
- 85% of 180 = 153
This means the 40-year-old person needs to keep his heart rate beating between 108-153 to get an effective workout. During the exercise your heart beat rate can be checked by taking your pulse for 15 seconds and multiplying that number by four.
Here are the stats for my age:
- maximum heart rate = 161
- 60% workout = 97
- 85% workout = 137
And here’s the results of holding the Embrace the Tree posture for twenty minutes (checking my pulse every 5 minutes):
- Start: 68 (resting heart rate)
- 5 minutes = 104
- 10 minutes =118
- 15 minutes =120
- 20 minutes = 128
So based on those numbers my workout rate climbed to the 60% mark within three or so minutes and increased to almost the 85% mark at the end of twenty minutes.
It’s interesting to see a scientific formula confirming what was known and felt for many centuries in the practice of Tai Chi and Chi Kung.
Please Note: There are various versions of the formula and opnions on its effectiveness but as a rough guide it showed that standing in a correct Tai Chi or Chi Kung posture for a period of time does give you a very good workout.