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Cardio 101 - Increase the Effectiveness of Your Cardio Work

Posted Sep 07 2008 2:01am

Cardio 101 - Increase the Effectiveness of Your Cardio Work There are three components that play a role in determining the effectiveness of your cardiovascular workout: frequency, intensity and duration. These elements, along with a healthy diet, will determine whether you are a fat burning machine or not. We’ll tackle each of the categories in this article.

Frequency - is how often you exercise. Ideally, you want at least 3 days per week of cardiovascular activity. Any less than that and you won’t be doing as much good for your body as you could be doing, as your body will have time to begin to de-train itself. In addition, by exercising infrequently, you will not be able to create the necessary calorie deficit required to make you lose weight.

Intensity - is how hard you work out and is VERY important. You can spend an hour walking briskly, but would do yourself more good by performing interval training routines for 60% less time. Why is that? Because the interval sprints rev up your metabolism. Be sure to check your heart rate while exercising to make sure you stay within your target heart range.

There are a couple of really simple ways to check your heart rate. First, use a heart rate monitor. How much more simple can it get than that? The second is the talk test. If you are breathing hard but can still converse normally, you are working in the low range of the spectrum. If you are unable to talk, you are working over your target rate.

Duration is length of time you spend working out. You should strive to train for 30 - 60 minutes per session. That is the optimal duration for fat burning, as the first 25 minutes or so are when the body burns your glycogen stores for energy. Once that process has completed, the burning of fat begins. This is the “second wind” feeling you get when you are engaging in prolonged physical activity.

Keep these hints in mind, and of course, don’t forget to warm up and cool down before and after each session. Start a cardio workout program today with these exercise videos.

Written by: Donnell Peavy

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