Aerobics and Cardio
Unfortunately, many people cringe at the mention of the phrase “cardio exercise”. To achieve all round fitness aerobic, or cardio fitness exercises need to included along with weight training.
Benefits of a cardio/aerobic fitness exercise program are:
Lose excess body fat,
Reduce risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke,
Increased immune system,
Cardio or aerobic exercise is cheap and can be done anywhere. Cardio can be made more interesting, even fun, by employing a few simple ideas listed in this article.
OK, let’s get going!
How many times should I do my cardio workout?
In the beginning three days a week is enough as part of you exercise program. If you are following the weight lifting program we’ve outlined in this series, it is a good idea to do cardio on the same day as you perform your weight training.
It is advisable to finish your weight lifting first then do your aerobic/cardio fitness workout.
Alternatively, if you, like many people, have a piece of cardio equipment gathering dust (or being used as a coat rack) in your home, then you have other options. If your main goal is fat loss, it is recommended that you perform your cardio first thing in the morning.
If this is an option for you, give it a try – you may find that it wakes you up more effectively than your morning shower.
How long should I do cardio?
As with anything new it is best to start slowly and build up as you strengthen.
Just 15 minutes of cardio is enough to start with.
Which type of aerobics should I do?
When you start it is easier to work out on a machine where you can set your own pace rather than being in classes. When do you cardio workout by yourself on a machine you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the others in a aerobics class.
There are three main types of cardio equipment to choose from.
Riding the bike, which eliminates impact on joints. This is very good for people with sore joints or back problems.
Elliptical Walker, this is a more intensive workout but is very easy on joints like the bike. On the Elliptical machine the user remains standing the entire time (more effective at toning the glutes, a.k.a. the butt) and has the option of using their arms (as well as their legs) during the workout.
Stair climber or step machine, this gives an even more strenuous workout than the elliptical walker. It’s very hard to perform the stair climber at a fast pace, unlike the stationary bicycle or elliptical machine, thus longer workouts are required to reap the full benefits. This machine is recommended for more advanced trainers.
The treadmill, is the most widely used in the gym. The speed is adjustable in almost all machines and can vary from a slow walk to flat out running and the intensity of the workout on the treadmill can be adjusted by setting the incline. The problem with working out on the treadmill is the high impact on joints, so it is not recommended for people with joint or back problems.
Example Cardio Program for Beginners
The first two weeks of your cardio exercise program should be…..Choose which ever method of aerobic exercise suits you best, and simply follow the guidelines below:
Monday 15 minutes
Wednesday 15 minutes
Friday 15 minutes
Monday 20 minutes
Wednesday 20 minutes
Friday 20 minutes
Watch for my next article and get the most out of your cardio!