Most people know that cardio should be part of their workout program. But how much and how often should you do it? There are some guidelines given by the Department of Health and Human Services. It states that every adult should have at last 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. What is moderate exercise? Moderate exercise includes a brisk walk, swimming and even doing active chores, like mowing the lawn, not on a riding mower.
If you’re ready for more vigorous activity, you can cut the amount of cardio time.
Do you like to run? Is a high intensity interval strength training part of your plan? Those are both vigorous aerobic workouts, with the second also helping to build strength. You can cut the amount of time to 75 minutes per week by doing cardio and bumping up the intensity. The amount of time you spend on cardio depends on not only your fitness level, but also the intensity of the workout. The higher your fitness level, the more intense your workout can be.
Mix it up and do both high intensity and moderate intensity workouts.
You don’t have to stick with high intensity workouts or strictly moderate ones. You can alternate between moderate and intense. To calculate the amount of time to do it, multiply the amount of time you spent on intense workouts and add it to the amount of time in moderate workouts. It should equal at least 150 minutes. You can even break up a daily walk to doing ten minutes three times a day if you’re not ready for one full half hour a day.
Don’t stop at the minimum if you want the most benefits.
You can go for a hike, take dance lessons or even try out a hula hoop for exercise. While the minimum exercise is 150 minutes, that doesn’t mean that’s all you should get. To get the most benefits, aim for 300 minutes a day or more if you’re focusing on moderate activity. As you get fitter, add a few minutes to your walk or ramp up the intensity. You’ll start seeing faster improvements in your endurance when you do.
- Don’t forget to include things you enjoy. Exercise doesn’t have to take place in the gym. It also doesn’t have to be something that’s just for exercise, it can be something fun, too.
- Don’t forget to add extra cardio in everyday activities. Take the stairs. Park further from the grocery store and walk to places when you can, rather than taking the car.
- If you want to lose weight, you need to exercise longer and be more intense in your activity. The more intense and longer you workout, the more calories you burn.
- Moderate intensity is when you get out of breath, develop a light sweat after ten minutes or if you can carry on a conversation, but can’t sing. High intensity is when your breathing is rapid and deep, you sweat after a few minutes and you can’t say a few words without stopping for breath.
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