Ugh! Cardio! It’s such a confusing topic, right? Cardio workouts are a critical component to your overall health, wellness and sense of “I’m awesome!” Some of the benefits of cardio that many people don’t know are:
• Cardio causes your body temperature to change and therefore helps to improve your natural circadian rhythms
• Cardio improves your body’s ability to manage carbohydrates by inspiring better insulin sensitivity at the cellular level
• Cardio helps your muscles recovery from other workouts helping you to bounce back faster
There are two critical considerations when it comes to cardio. The first is why you are doing it in the first place. The second is to when to perform your cardio workouts to reach your goals.
Effective cardio is dependent on your heart rate during the workout. Therefore, you have to know what your heart rate should be based on your intended goals. Below are some general values that are based on your Theoretical Heart Rate Max. Keep in mind these numbers are general guideposts. Your exact heartbeat can be higher or lower by about 15 beats per minute.
You can calculate your Theoretical Heart Rate Max by subtracting your age in years from the number 220. For example:
220 – 38 (years old) = 182 (beats per minute)
Now, take that number and multiply it by the percentages below to determine what your heart rate should be during your cardio workouts.
1. For heart health multiply by 0.75
2. To improve cardiovascular fitness multiply by 0.85
3. For fat loss multiply by 0.70
4. To improve a sense of well being multiply by 0.60
5. To recover from other workouts multiply by 0.55
Because cardio should be a component of your overall fitness plan, it’s valuable to schedule it intelligently in relation to your strength workouts. This really comes down to two considerations. Do you want to improve your muscle mass? Or, do you want to maintain your current sitch? Check out this week’s video below to learn the exact way to schedule your cardio to support your strength training efforts.
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