Beginning Cardio

Tips on Starting Cardio Training

As you get started with making the commitment to improve your fitness level and achieve a healthy body weight, one thing that you need to start considering is which type of cardio training you should integrate into your program plan.

Cardio is a good place to start when you're a beginner because it's less complicated than resistance training and will help to prepare your body for the higher level of intensity that resistance work provides.

There are three main factors when selecting your beginning cardio workouts, so let's go over what these are so that you can get started off on the right foot.

Cardio Mode

First you need to select the mode of cardio that you'll be doing. The first and biggest factor to consider here is what do you enjoy? That will be of primary importance here because if you don't enjoy the cardio you're doing, you'll never stick with it.

Beginning Cardio

Also remember that cardio training doesn't necessarily have to take place in the gym. If you'd rather participate in a team sport or get outside and do your cardio, so be it.

The only requirement for an exercise to be considered "cardio" at this stage is that it gets you up and moving.

Cardio Intensity

Next you need to determine the intensity in which you'll do your cardio at. Since you are just beginning and you want to ease your body into the process, go for an intensity of around 5–6 on a scale of 1 to 10. Now, this may not seem like it's all that challenging, but we don't want it to be at this point.

So many beginners suffer from the "too much, too soon" syndrome, and this just leaves a negative impression of cardio in their mind.

Instead, get the cardio in and enjoy yourself. There will be plenty of time for increasing the intensity later on.

Cardio Duration

Next, you also need to establish how long you'll be doing your cardio for. Again, think less than what you feel like you could do here. You want to make your cardio workouts on the slightly easier side so there is no doubt or hesitation in your mind that you can in fact get them done.

As a beginner, start with 15 minutes. Once that feels comfortable, shift to 20 minutes. Then keep adding five minutes until you're at around the 30 minute mark.

Once you've reached this point, then you can start increasing the intensity of the cardio instead.

For most people, there's no real benefits to going longer than 30 minutes—once you're capable of doing this much cardio, making it more intense in nature will provide a greater level of benefits for you moving forward.

So now that you know how to structure your cardio training, let's look at a few quick tips to remember as you get your workout into place.

Quick Tips for Success

The following should be remembered at all times so that you can make as favorable an impression of your cardio training in your mind as possible.

  • Always perform a brief 5 minute warm-up and 5 minute cool down before and after the cardio session.
  • Never force yourself to do cardio if you are truly fatigued (and not just looking for an excuse).
  • Try and vary your modes of cardio over time to prevent boredom and keep your body challenged.
  • Consider doing cardio with a buddy to help pass the time faster.
  • Remember that if you ever feel light-headed or dizzy, stop immediately and rest until you are well enough to carry on.

So keep these points in mind as you get started with your beginning cardio and you will be on your way to success.