Good Cardio Workouts

Feb 26 2020

Good Cardio Workouts

Before starting any exercise program, regardless of your perceived level of cardiovascular fitness, please consult with a medical professional or your doctor. 

You can determine what heart rate for cardio you should be exercising at here.

We have included some basic cardiovascular workouts and tips below to get you started.

The key is to follow a plan that works for your lifestyle and that you find enjoyable.

Think long-term and implement changes that will not burn you out in a couple of weeks.

Most importantly, have fun with it!


Beginner Cardio Workout
Click here if you are currently participating in less than 3 days a week of cardiovascular exercise.

Intermediate Cardio Workout
Click here if you're currently participating in 4 days a week of cardiovascular exercise.

Advanced Cardio Workout
Click here if you're currently participating in 5 days a week of cardiovascular exercise.

Advanced Conditioning
Click here if you're currently participating in more than 5 days a week of cardiovascular aerobic exercise.

Tips to Get the Best Cardio workouts

  • Begin with a 5 -7-minute warmup. The warmup should consist of the same exercise you are using for your cardiovascular routine. For example, if you are running, walk first before proceeding to a jog.
  • After your warmup, gradually increase cardiovascular exercise to training speed.
  • Your cardiovascular routine should be performed directly after your weight training. This method is optimal for body fat reduction (best cardio for weight loss).
  • End with a 5-7-minute cool down. For example, after running, move to a jog then proceed to a walk.
  • A change in your type of cardiovascular routine should be made when your interest decreases in the selected activity.

 

Cardio Training FAQs

women running

What heart rate for cardio?

How much cardio exercise do I need to do to get fit?

How often should I change my cardio program?

How long should I warmup for?

Cardio before or after weights?

What is more effective for fat loss, high intensity or low intensity jogging?

Is working out seven days a week too much?


Beginner Cardio Workout


Excluding your warmup and cool down, start with three days a week for 20-30 minutes of your chosen cardiovascular exercise.

Cardio Program

Exercise Name Days Per Week Duration in Minutes Intensity
Any Dynamic Activity 3 20-30 Moderate




Example:

Exercise Name Days Per Week Duration in Minutes Intensity
Moderate Walking Monday, Wednesday, Friday Check Above Check Above




Intermediate Cardio Workout


Excluding your warmup and cool down, start with four days a week for 25-30 minutes of your chosen cardiovascular exercise.

Cardio Program

Exercise Name Days Per Week Duration in Minutes Intensity
Any Dynamic Activity 4 25-30 Moderate




Example:

Exercise Name Days Per Week Duration in Minutes Intensity
Moderate Running Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday Check Above Check Above




Advanced Cardio Fitness Workout


Excluding your warmup and cool down, start with three days a week for 45-60 minutes of your chosen cardio exercise.

Cardio Program

Exercise Name Days Per Week Duration in Minutes Intensity
Any Dynamic Activity 3 45-60 minutes of any exercise or cardiovascular machine that you enjoy (I.E. treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, walking, jogging) Interval Training: Focus on short bursts of energy for intervals of 3 minutes every 10 minutes. Example: if jogging walk for 7 minutes followed by running for 3 minutes and then repeat cycle till completion.




Example:

Exercise Name Days Per Week Duration in Minutes Intensity
Running Intervals Monday, Wednesday, Friday Check Above Check Above




Advanced Conditioning Training Routine


Excluding your warmup and cool down, start with four days a week for 45-60 minutes of your chosen aerobic exercise.

Cardio Program

Exercise Name Days Per Week Duration in Minutes Intensity
Any Dynamic Activity 4 45-60 Interval Training: Focus on short bursts of energy for intervals of 3 minutes every 6 minutes. Example: if jogging walk for 3 minutes followed by running for 3 minutes and then repeat cycle till completion.




Example:

Exercise Name Days Per Week Duration in Minutes Intensity
Running Fast Intervals Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday Check Above Check Above




Frequently Asked Cardio Questions


Question: Response:
How much cardio exercise do I need to do to get fit? The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 3-5 cardio workouts lasting 20-60 minutes in duration each week. Good cardio-challenging workouts include power walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, fitness classes, stair climbing etc. Keep in mind though, if you can't meet these recommendations, any movement is better than nothing!




Question: Response:
How often should I change my cardio program? For consistent results, consistently change your program. If you don't change your program, you're guaranteed to eventually reach a plateau. A good recommendation, change your workout every 2 - 3 weeks or if your progress has stopped.




Question: Response:
How long should I warmup for? Before you begin your weight training workout or cardiovascular program, start with a 5 -7-minute warmup. The warmup should consist of a cardiovascular exercise that incorporates all major muscle groups.

You should also warmup before your cardiovascular routine. The warmup should consist of the same exercise you are using for your cardiovascular routine. For example, if you are running, walk first before proceeding to a jog. After your warmup, gradually increase cardiovascular exercise to training speed.




Question: Response:
Cardio or weights first? Glycogen stores are stores of energy that your body uses during weight training and cardiovascular exercise. Although, during weight training glycogen stores are the only energy source used. Thus, completing your cardiovascular routine before weight training will substantially deplete your energy (glycogen) stores needed to complete a proper weight training program. Also, completing your weight training before your cardiovascular workout significantly decreases your glycogen stores. So, when you begin your cardiovascular training your body burns less glycogen and more of your stored fat. In summary, to reach you optimal fat burning stages and to have the proper energy to utilize an exercise program, complete your weight training before you cardiovascular training.




Question: Response:
What is more effective for fat loss, high intensity or low intensity jogging? It's true that when you exercise at a lower intensity you will burn an overall higher percentage of fat from fat stores. Although, this research can be deceptive. Research also shows that higher intensity exercise results in greater weight and fat loss. The reason is simple, during higher intensity exercise, not only do you burn more calories, but you burn more absolute fat. So, high, intense exercise is more effective. But remember, the key to success is progress and if low intensity is working for you, stick with it.




Question: Response:
Is working out seven days a week too much? One of the biggest misconceptions in the gym is the belief that for people to reach their fitness goals that they need to workout six to seven times a week. Remember the body needs anywhere from 48-96 hours to recuperate from exercise. Growth takes place when we rest our bodies after we workout. If we don't allow for enough rest time, our growth will be hampered, and possible workout plateaus will occur. Try exercising 3 days a week and allow at least one day in between workouts for proper rest.




Cardiovascular Exercise Suggestions

Low Intensity Moderate Intensity High Intensity
Basketball (non-game) Backpacking Aerobics Class
Bowling Bike (Road) Badminton
Dancing (social, square, tap) Bike (Stationary) Basketball (game play)
Basketball (non-game) Canoeing, Rowing, Kayaking Bike (Mountain)
Golfing (Power Cart) Circuit Training Boxing (In Ring)
Golfing (walking) Elliptical Boxing (Sparring)
Sailing Golfing (fast walking) Field Hockey
Scuba Diving Hiking (cross country) Football (touch)
Walking Muscle Conditioning Exercise Handball
  Rowing Racquetball/paddleball
  Running Skiing (Cross-Country)
  Skating (ice and roller) Skipping
  Skiing (Downhill) Soccer
  Skiing (Water) Squash
  Snowshoeing Stair Climbing
  Stepper Tennis
  Swimming Volleyball
  Treadmill

all vary based on exercise level

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