How much cardio you should include in an exercise session depends on your fitness level and goals. Depending on your access to gym cardio equipment, you may or may not be able to get your cardio done while simultaneously engaging in muscle-building exercises. Generally, sports medicine experts recommend getting 30 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, five days a week.
Of course, many people don’t have the time to devote more than hour to the gym every day, which is why cross trainers techniques have become popular. Treadmills are usually the first machine that comes to mind when a person pictures cadio at the gym, but cardiovascular workouts need not be confined to running. Those who prefer low-impact activities should consider using rowing machines or elliptical trainers. Both will get your heart rate up, while keeping the stress on your joints minimal, and let you work on your arms at the same time. If you still find yourself short of time to get that cardio workout in, you can break up your daily cardio into smaller increments. Even as little as 10 minutes at a time has been shown to be beneficial.
The intensity of your personal cardio workout routine should change with your fitness goals. If you are trying to improve your cardiovascular fitness, try to maintain a moderate level of intensity, with your heart-rate staying within 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, which is determined by subtracting your age from 220. If you can talk, but not sing, you are likely in this range.
Always check with your physician before beginning a new cardio regimen. The Exercise & Sports Science of Australia has also developed exercise guidelines for asthmatics and others with special health considerations, in which your doctor may be able to consult you.
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