Cardiovascular exercise is a type of physical activity that requires continuous movements to elevate your heart rate and sustain it for a certain period of time. There are many reasons why you should do cardio workouts regularly, aside from weight loss. Regular cardio exercise results in improved blood circulation, better heart health, regulated blood sugar levels, increased energy levels, more muscle mass, happier mood, and more. It basically helps improve your quality of life.
Main Points to Consider
If you are planning to follow a workout program, you will want to set up your cardio exercises. There are some points that you should keep in mind. The first one is to ensure that you love what you will be doing. You can even choose a cardio workout that you can do with friends. Another important point is to focus on making exercise a habit, placing full commitment on improving your overall fitness.
You can begin your exercise program by following these simple steps:
1. Choose a cardio activity:
Find an activity that you will really like or find comfortably hard to do. As mentioned earlier, a cardio workout involves continuous movements that elevate your heart rate. Activities that can help you achieve this include brisk walking, jogging, running, rowing, and biking. You can also engage in sports, such as tennis, basketball, and swimming. If you hate cardio, you can increase your moving time, like cleaning the house, strolling the mall, and more.
2. Determine how often you want to workout:
It is ideal to do moderate cardio activity for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. However, some people would say that they are too busy to exercise often. You can start slowly by working out once or twice a week for at least 30 minutes, and then increase the frequency as you get to figure out your schedule. If you only have 10 minutes a day for exercise, then make the most out of it.
3. Schedule your exercise:
Mark your workout days on the calendar as you would in any appointment. You need to treat it like it is an important activity that you cannot miss, like a meeting with your boss or a visit to your doctor’s clinic.
4. Prepare in advance:
Whether you are busy or not, it is advisable to prepare the things you need for your workout in advance. You will probably need comfortable workout clothes, shoes, snacks, water, music player, heart rate monitor, and others. Skipping this step will increase the likelihood of cancelling your workout for the day.
5. Monitor your performance:
If you are not competing in any sport, then you will only need to workout at moderate intensity. You can easily determine this by staying below your target heart rate, but not too low. It may feel like you are working hard at first, but you will eventually get used to it. It is recommended to wear a heart rate monitor to see if you are doing well before, during, and after each session.
6. Workout within your fitness level:
If doing 30 minutes of continuous cardio workout is not physically possible yet, then you can do five or 10 minutes. You can slowly add more time on your session as you improve. This is true especially for people who have been sedentary their whole life.
7. Evaluate yourself each week:
Take note of any improvements and difficulties that you encounter, so you can deal with them right away. You can consult a professional trainer or a doctor to help you address some issues.
These are the steps that you need to follow to get started with your cardio exercises. It is important to listen to your body before, during, and after your workouts. If you feel any unusual discomfort, then stop right away.