In general when any sedentary person is starting a new program, they should check with a doctor for guidelines. Most often this is the heart health and post-rehab category but can also apply to anyone starting out. With post-rehab, usually a physical therapist will point you in the right direction or even design a program for you.
For general fitness, 3x a week of 20-30 minutes is adequate for endurance and conditioning. For weight loss, it depends on the amount of weight you want to lose. Those with less weight to lose will need to work at a higher intensity (if they have already been weight training regularly). Those who have more than 20 pounds to lose or are just beginning a program will want to focus on the time done more than the intensity. They may work from 20-40 minutes 3 to 5 days a week. Remember to use your weight training to boost the metabolism, burn calories and get some cardio work too by keeping rest to a minimum and challenging your muscles!
No matter what your goal, remember that less is more! Start out with a modest amount of cardio and add a few minutes a week, until you reach your program time goal. If you do too much too soon the body will rebel and hold on to fat stores or use muscle for energy!
- Pace is more important than level
- Mix the modes of cardio exercises
- Track your progress
- Write a plan
- Know your goal!
- Cardio is best done after weight training
- Longer cardio sessions on non-weight training days
- Give your body a day or two of rest!
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