Five Tips For Starting New Cardio Programs
Getting started with a new cardio program is not hard and can be a lot of fun. Some people are better at strength training and some people are better at cardio workouts. You can get better at either. I am a cardio workout fanatic, but I still enjoy mixing in strength training.
Cardio workouts are great for conditioning your body and incinerating calories. When considering a new cardio program, the absolute first thing you should do is consult with your physician to see if your heart is healthy enough to start. Cardio programs put a lot of stress on your heart and cardiovascular system. Once cleared by your doctor, then move onto these five tips for starting new cardio programs:
1) Determine Your Fitness Level
Before you begin, it is always a good idea to know where you are starting. This will be your guide to monitor if you are improving or not. Here are some simple measurements you should take before starting a new cardio program:
- Pulse rate – take your pulse rate as soon as you wake up. You can also take your pulse rate before and after you run/walk one mile at a consistent pace.
- Weight – if you are using cardio program as a weight loss method, you will want to know your weight before starting your program. Cardio routines are excellent for burning calories and when balanced with a good nutrition plan, can really accelerate weight loss.
- Body Mass Index – Although, not always accurate. Body Mass Index is a fairly reliable measurement of a person’s body fat based on weight and height. Click here to learn more about Body Mass Index. You should strive to have a BMI of less than 25.0, but more than 18.5. To measure your BMI on the U.S. Standard System, take your weight in pounds divided by your height in inches and multiply by 703. If you use the metric system, then take your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters. The resulting value from either system is your BMI. You can also take the easy way and use the National Institutes of Health Body Mass Index calculator be clicking here.
2) Develop Your Program
There are two ways to start a cardio workout routine. You can either develop your own or find one someone has already developed.
To create your own, you must determine your end fitness goal. If it is to lose weight, write down your desired goal weight. Regardless of your goal, it has to be realistic and achievable. Next create a balanced routine encompassing 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. In that time, about an hour per week should be dedicated to strength based training. For best results, integrate high intensity interval training that combines cardio and strength training. Try to develop a few different cardio routines (cycling, running, swimming, etc…) so that you can avoid boredom.
Always go at your own pace. Start slow if you are just getting into exercising and increase your pace as your cardio strength improves. Give your muscles time for recovery with your upper body strength training workouts.
3) Gather Your Equipment
One of the best tips for starting new cardio programs is getting equipment that you are comfortable with and fits well. If you are new to exercising and depending on the cardio program you plan to use, you may need some equipment such as appropriate clothing, a bicycle, weights and/or a jump rope. Most cardio workout programs involve running or some form of movement. If running is what you decide to do, you should make sure you have a good pair of well fitting running shoes or cross trainers. Plan to replace your shoes at least every six months.
4) Start Exercising
If you do not regularly exercise, then start slow. Modify as necessary. As with all cardio routines always warm up before exercising and cool down afterward. You may only be able to go for five to ten minutes when first starting out, but soon you will be able to go a full 30 minutes. Also, it is just as beneficial to do three 10-minute workouts as it is one 30-minute routine.
5) Monitor and Assess Your Progress
Periodically reassess your fitness level to see if you are making progress by repeating the first of the tips to starting new cardio programs. Plan on modifying the intensity along the way. The stronger you get, the more challenging and higher intensity you will need your cardio workout routine to be.
Are you doing a cardio program or planning to start one? Do you have any tips for starting new cardio programs? Please comment below and let me know what you are doing.
Sign up for my newsletter to learn how you can incinerate calories and lose weight fast: