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How to Tell if Your Cardio Workout is Effective

Fitday Editor

You know you are getting a good cardio workout when your heart rate is up by at least 60 percent of its maximum for 30 minutes or more. A good cardio workout three times per week or more is ideal for weight management, weight loss, endurance and stress. Getting into the cardio zone is an essential part of your exercise program. Since cardio workouts are different for women and men, the focus will be on effective workouts for women.

Cardio Workout Using Aerobics

Aerobics is an excellent cardio workout, which increases heart rate by up to 85 percent of maximum and insures that your routine is effective. This improves heart and lung function, burns calories and helps lose weight. Done either at home or at the gym, aerobics also builds muscle mass and combats depression. It is easy to tell if aerobics is working for you by the way your clothes fit, the way you feel and the numbers on the scale.

Cardio Workout By Power Walking, Jogging, or Running

Power walking, jogging or running will all give you a great cardio workout by getting the heart rate up to 75 percent of its maximum; while improving heart and lung function, they will also burn calories and help you lose weight. All of these cardio workouts are easy to do at the park, gym or at home by running or jogging in place (or power walking around the yard). The best way to tell if these workouts are benefiting you are by the way you feel, and your ability to go further and workout longer.

Cardio Workouts Using a Treadmill

Treadmills are an excellent way to get a great cardio workout; use one either at the gym or at home for convenience. Treadmills are versatile when used to do walking or running. Treadmills are one of the best ways to burn fat and lose weight by setting them at a certain speed, or incline, or have a preset program for a warm-up walk, and then a cool down walk once the cardio is finished. The best benefit to the treadmill is that you can workout year round in any kind of weather; by making sure to keep your heart rate up to at least 60 percent of maximum, you will ensure your workout is effective.

Cardio Workout Plans

Before beginning any cardio workout or exercise program, see your health care provider to make sure you are healthy enough to begin, then set your goals and stay motivated. Some of the best motivators are hearing your family and friends comment about changes in your appearance (and mood), watching the numbers on the scale drop and having to buy more clothes.

So you will not get bored with the same workout, vary your exercises to include different routines for different days. Each workout should begin with a warm up and end with a cool down period. Vary the intensity of each exercise by working hard and fast for one or two minutes, then slow down for a minute until you build up more stamina and energy. You will begin to see results the first week and with patience's and persistence, the result will be a much healthier and happier you.

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