4 Cardio Tips to Get You in Shape Fast

Every home gym should include some type of cardiovascular equipment unless, of course, you get your cardio workout through outdoor activities.

Cardiovascular fitness is achieved through aerobic training, which is defined as any exercise that requires increased oxygen consumption within the body. Below are some simple tips to achieve cardiovascular fitness through aerobic exercise.

1. Frequency

You should do some form of aerobic activity at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes per session. In a perfect world, you’ll be able to do five 30 minute sessions a week, but remember that doing something is always better than doing nothing at all. So, even if you only get to do 10 or 15 minutes a day, it’s always better than skipping your workout altogether.

2. Intensity

Your cardiovascular workouts should be done with enough intensity to keep your heart rate in your “fat burning zone”. This is the number of times your heart should beat in one minute to most efficiently provide your muscles with adequate amounts of oxygen rich blood. The fat burning zone is determined by your age and this standard formula:

220 – (your age) x (.75) = Your Fat Burning Zone

For example, a 40 year old man or woman’s fat burning zone would be calculated as follows:
220 – 40 = (180) x (.75) = 135

According to this formula, a 40 year old person’s heart should beat about 135 times every minute to stay in his/her fat burning zone during exercise. This target heart rate can be monitored using the hear rate monitors that are included on many of the home gym cardiovascular training machines.

3. Variety

If you want to get the most out of your cardiovascular training program, you should try to use several different forms of aerobic exercise. By varying your aerobic routine, you’ll avoid overuse injuries, delay or avoid training plateaus and you’ll avoid boredom.

“Variety in cardiovascular training is one of the key ingredients to a long-term successful training plan.”

4. Have Fun

I don’t care how good your intentions are, if you’re not having fun or looking forward to your next workout, you won’t stick to a program in the long run. Don’t go buy a treadmill if you hate walking or running. Don’t use indoor equipment if you love the outdoors. Don’t ride a stationary bike if it hurts your knees…you get my point here, right?

You can get your aerobic activity in the form of anything from house cleaning to speed skating, so don’t force yourself to do something you hate. Workouts should be a highlight in your day, not a time you dread until it’s over.