Whether you’re new to exercising, or you’ve just never really put a plan together, the best way to make cardio exercise a habit is to put together a plan that you can achieve. This article will provide you with information on how to put together a good cardio workout plan. Whether you’re just starting out or been at it for years, the following information will be beneficial to you.
Cardio workouts are an important, if not indispensable piece, of any effective exercise regime. High-intensity cardio training is a wonderful way to speed up your metabolism – as your metabolism stays revved up for some time after your workout. Cardio workouts can be just about any exercise, such as jogging, running, swimming, biking, elliptical machines, even jumping rope. Your goal is to raise and maintain your heart rate for a set amount of time.
Cardio workouts help strengthen your heart and lungs, and they also help lower your resting heart rate, which means over time, the same effort that would have produced a 10 minute-mile, now might result in a 9 minute-mile.
By doing cardio workouts, you burn fat. But, just as important, you strengthen your heart. As you work out, your muscles require more blood to remove waste byproducts as well as carbon dioxide, as well as additional oxygen for fuel. Sustained cardio workouts over time train your heart, like any other muscle, to produce the same effect with less effort.
Other benefits of cardio are an increased metabolic rate (which leads to your body burning excess fat that much better), and increased growth hormone secretion (which helps fuel additional muscle growth which helps speed up your metabolism). And, you also will feel more alert (since cardio workouts increase blood flow to the brain). Not to mention that you’ll reduce stress!
Finally – a consistent cardio training program helps you build endurance – which helps you persist in not just sports, but in life as well! Creating a schedule of regular times that you’ll commit to your cardio exercise program is important – in fact, it’s just as important as what kind of cardio exercise you do. So, here’s how to put that plan together.
1. Remember that the best time to exercise is when you CAN exercise. Choose a time that works best for you, whether it’s in the morning, over lunch, or at the end of the day.
2. Write them down – treat them as an appointment! And, if you write it down, you’ll find you’ll be more committed to following through with your workouts!
3. Now, choose your exercise. If you just purchased a treadmill, maybe start with a walking program (you can always advance to jogging or running as your fitness level improves).
4. If you have any reservations so far about the plan you’ve built – now’s the time to talk to your doctor and get their final approval BEFORE you put your plan into action!
5. Now – time to start your workouts. Make sure you start each workout with at least 5 minutes of stretching for your warm up – and at the end, at least 5 minute cool down and stretching as well.
6. Start slow. If you find that you can only start with 5 to 10 minutes, start there. And, once your workout is done, write down your results!
7. And, finally – add a couple of minutes to every workout!
Now that you’ve got your plan in action, remember that your goal is to improve your health. If you feel like your resting heart rate is higher than usual, you feel tired all the time, you dread your workouts, or you can’t sleep, you might be overtraining.
If that happens, take a couple days off and ease back into a light program. Maybe try a different exercise routine. And, don’t be afraid to stop for a couple days and concentrate on something else. You’ll find yourself re-energized for your workouts – just don’t forget to start back up again!