Cardio
Cardio Exercise for Men and Women
Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) is any physical exercise that is performed to improve the efficiency of the body’s cardiovascular system in absorbing and transporting oxygen.

This simply means that your doing rhythmic activity that raises your heart rate up to target heart rate for at least 20 minutes. Target heart rate is generally expressed as a percentage (50 to 85 percent) of your maximum safe heart rate.

The maximum rate is based on your age, as subtracted from 220. Thus, for a 40-year-old, maximum heart rate is 220 minus 40, or 180 beats per minute.This section contains detailed descriptions of exercise that focus on the cardiovascular system.

Read through the exercise descriptions thoroughly so you know exactly what the exercise is going to accomplish, how to execute it properly and safely, and how to best incorporate the exercise into your workouts.

Also, always warm up with stretching and lower resistance in order to decrease the chance of injuries.

1. Stationary Bicycle

Riding a stationary bike is an effective and efficient exercise to burn calories (body fat) while strengthening your heart, lungs, and muscles.

Compared to some other types of cardio equipment, a stationary bicycle puts less stress and strain on your joints, but it still provides an excellent aerobic workout. This makes it a good exercise for people with joint issues or injuries.

Also, this exercise can help build strength in your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps, especially if you use a higher resistance. Additionally, it can work the muscles in your core, back, and glutes.

Workout Plans for Stationary Bicycle

For Beginners:

If you’re just beginning to building your fitness, the key is to start slowly and to add more time and intensity gradually. Start with a 20 to 30-minute workout, adding time in 1-minute increments as you build up your fitness.

Here’s sample beginner’s workout:

1.  Warm up by pedaling at a low intensity for 1-5 minutes.

2.  Switch to medium intensity for 5 minutes.

3.  Switch to high intensity for 1-2 minutes.

4.  Switch to medium intensity for 5 minutes.

5.  Switch to high intensity for 1-2 minutes.

6.  Switch to medium intensity for 5 minutes.

7.  Cool down by pedaling at a low intensity for 1-5 minutes.

For Intermediates:

Once you’ve built up your fitness, you may want to boost your strength and stamina with an intermediate workout.

Here’s a sample intermediate workout:

  1.  Warm up by pedaling at a low intensity for 5-10 minutes.
  2.  Switch to medium intensity for 3-5 minutes.
  3.  Alternate between high intensity (1-3 minutes) and medium intensity (3-5 minutes) for the next 20 to 30 minutes.

Cool down by pedaling at a low intensity for 5-10 minutes

For Advanced:

This advanced workout helps to burn calories and body fat, and boost your strength and stamina.

1.  Warm up by pedaling at a low intensity for 5-10 minutes.

2.  Switch to medium intensity for 10 minutes.

3.  Switch to high intensity for 3-5 minutes.

4.  Switch to medium intensity for 3-5 minutes.

5.  Switch to high intensity for 3-5 minutes.

6.  Switch to medium intensity for 3-5 minutes.

7.  Switch to high intensity for 5-10 minutes.

8.  Cool down by pedaling at low intensity for 5-10 minutes.

2. Elliptical Trainer

Elliptical trainer provides both upper (arms, back and pecs) and lower (calves, thighs, glutes) body exercises, as well as an abdominal workout at the same time which is very effective in burning fat and comfortably maintaining a good shape for people of different ages and activity levels.

Modern ellipticals come with tons of features to track out workout goals and customize exercise according to trainee’s need.

Workout Plans For Elliptical Trainer

For Beginners:

The elliptical trainer is great for beginners, allowing you to ease your way into cardio exercise. The elliptical trainer is a good choice especially if you need less stress on the joints while conditioning your heart and lower body. Start with a 20 to 30-minute workout, adding time in 1-minute increments as you build up your fitness.

Here’s a sample beginner’s workout:

1.   Warm up low intensity for 5 minutes at a comfortable pace and keep the

     resistance or ramps low.

2.  Increase the resistance and/or ramps one to four increments or until

     you’re working harder than your warmup pace for 3 minutes. You should

     feel you’re working, but you should be able to carry on a conversation.

     This is your baseline pace.

3.  Increase the resistance and/or ramps once again until you’re working

     slightly harder than baseline for 2 minutes.

4.  Decrease the resistance or ramps back to baseline for 3 minutes.

5.  Increase the resistance and/or ramps once again until you’re working

     slightly harder than baseline for 2 minutes.

6.  Decrease the resistance or ramps back to low intensity to cool down

     for 5 minutes.

For Intermediates:

To progress with the beginner’s workout, start with adding another three minutes of your baseline pace and then increasing the resistance to moderately harder for two minutes before doing the five-minute cooldown.

 

For Advanced:

You can stay at the intermediate level for 2-3 weeks and then add another segment of three minutes moderate work and two minutes harder work. Now you are at the 30-minute level for exercise. This meets the minimum daily exercise guideline for moderate to vigorous physical activity.

 

3. Treadmill

Treadmill is a very popular machine for cardio exercise. As a matter of fact, if you frequent any health club or gym, you will probably see more treadmills in the cardiovascular section than any other cardio machine. Treadmills are a motorized equivalent of walking or running in place.

You simply keep up with a belt that’s moving under your feet. Treadmill workouts burn about the same number of calories as walking or running outdoors. The one exception is running uphill.

When you incline the treadmill to simulate running uphill, it’s somewhat easier than running up a real-life hill of the same grade. However, walking uphill on a treadmill is virtually the same as walking uphill outdoors.

Workout Plans For Treadmill

For Beginners:

If you’re new to running, the key is to give your body time to adjust to the physical demands. Mixing walking and running is perfect for beginners to get your heart rate up while priming your body for distance and speed. Start with a 20 to 30-minute workout, adding more time and intensity as you build up your fitness.

Here’s sample beginner’s workout:

1.   Warm up starting from walking and ending with jogging at a

     comfortable pace for 5 minutes.

2.  Switch to medium intensity for 3-5 minutes.

3.  Switch to low intensity for 1-2 minutes.

4.  Switch to medium intensity for 3-5 minutes.

5.  Switch to low intensity for 1-2 minutes.

6.  Switch to high intensity for 3-5 minutes.

7.  Cool down by jogging at a comfortable pace and ending with walking

     for 5 minutes.

For Intermediates:

Once you’ve built up your fitness, you may wannt to boost your strength and stamina with an intermediate workout.

Here’s a sample intermediate workout:

1.  Warm up with jogging at a comfortable pace for 5 minutes.

2.  Switch to high intensity for 3-5 minutes.

3.  Switch to low intensity for 1-2 minutes.

4.  Switch to high intensity for 3-5 minutes.

5.  Switch to low intensity for 1-2 minutes.

6.  Switch to high intensity for 3-5 minutes.

7.  Cool down by jogging at a comfortable pace for 5 minutes.

For Advanced:

This advanced workout helps to burn calories and body fat, and boost your strength and stamina.

Here’s sample advanced workout:

1.  Warm up with jogging at a comfortable pace for 5 minutes.

2.  Switch to medium intensity for 10 minutes.

3.  Switch to high intensity for 3-5 minutes.

4.  Switch to medium intensity for 3-5 minutes.

5.  Switch to high intensity for 3-5 minutes.

6.  Switch to medium intensity for 3-5 minutes.

7.  Switch to high intensity for 5-10 minutes.

8.  Cool down by jogging at a comfortable pace for 5 minutes.

4. Rowing Ergometer

Rowing Ergo meters are found in many gyms and health clubs and can be a part of any cardiovascular and strength training regimen. There are many styles of rowing ergo meters, but common types have a seat that slides on a rail, and a handle connected to a pulley that propels a flywheel (pictured below).

The rowing machine provides a full-body workout because you have to use your entire body to complete a rowing stroke. The low-to-the-ground, long machine engages the legs, back, core and arms, delivering an intense full-body cardio experience.

Not only is this a great cardio exercise, but your muscles get stronger when you start working out regularly on a rowing machine. Machines do vary between manufacturers in terms of their set-up, so if you are in doubt, talk to a gym instructor or personal trainer on how to use a particular model.

Instructions for Rowing Ergometer:

1.   Grasp the oar handle with an over-hand, shoulder-width grip. Sit on the

seat with the arms extended in front of you, and place the feet under the

foot straps.

2.  Lean forward and bend the knees so the seat rolls forwards towards the

flywheel, this will be your starting position.

3.  First push with the legs driving the slide back. When the oar passes the

knees, lean backwards from the hips and pull with the arms so that the

elbows bend and the oar draws towards your midsection

(abdominal region).

4.  At the finish of the stroke, return to the starting position by extending

the arms fully and simultaneously lean forwards at the hips towards

the flywheel.

5.  This will complete your one stroke.

6.  Exhale as you drive back. Inhale on the return.

7.  Warm up 5-10 min easy row.

8.  Sprint 30 sec max effort.

9.  Rest 30 sec.

10.  Repeat 5-15 rounds.

5. Stair Climber

The stair climber machine is a good piece of cardio equipment, designed to mimic the action of walking up stairs. There are two types of stair climbers, one with pedals called a stair stepper, and one that has a moving set of stairs called a stepmill (pictured below).

Stair climbers provide an aerobic workout by allowing you to create a climbing action either by pushing independent foot pedals up and down, or by climbing a moving staircase.

The primary muscles used in stair climbing are the quadriceps, hip flexors, and hamstrings, assisted by the gastrocnemius, soleus (lower calf muscle), and anterior tibialis.

Workout Plans for Stair Climber

For Beginners:

If you’re new to stair climbers, the key is to stand tall, do not hunch over that causes pressure on the lower back and takes away from targeting your lower body. Start with a 20 to 30-minute workout, adding more time and intensity as you build up your fitness.

Here’s a sample beginner’s workout:

1.  Warm up at a slow speed, around 1 or 2 for 1 minute.

2.  Increase speed to 3 or 4 for 1 minute.

3.  Increase speed to 5 or 6 for 1 minute.

4.  Increase speed to 7 or 8 for 1 minute.

5.  Decrease speed to 3 or 4 for 1 minute.

6. Repeat steps 3-5 for 20 to 30 minutes.

7.  Switch to high intensity for 5-10 minutes.

8.  Decrease speed to 1 or 2 to cool down for 1 minute.

For Advanced:

Once you’ve built up your fitness, you may want to boost your strength and stamina with an advanced workout.

Here’s a sample advanced workout:

1.  Warm up at a slow speed, around 3 for 5 for 1 minute.

2.  Increase speed to 7 or 8 for 1 minute.

3.  Decrease speed to 3 or 4 for 1 minute.

4.  Increase speed to 8 or 9 for 1 minute.

5.  Decrease speed to 4 or 5 for 1 minute.

6.  Decrease speed to 1 for 1 minute.

7.  Increase speed to 7 or 8 for 1 minute.

8.  Decrease speed to 3 or 4 for 1 minute.

9.  Increase speed to 8 or 9 for 1 minute.

10.  Decrease speed to 4 or 5 for 1 minute.

11.  Repeat steps 2-10 for 30 to 60 minutes.

12.  Decrease speed to 1 or 2 to cool down for 1 minute.

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