1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Getting Your Best Body - Cardio

By

Updated April 16, 2012

Cardio, like weight training, is crucial for losing fat as well as building endurance and making your heart strong for daily activities. Choose activities you enjoy and make sure you get your heart rate up into your target heart rate zone, shooting for at least 20-30 minutes per workout most days of the week. How much cardio you do depends on what you're trying to accomplish:
  • To build muscle: Keep your cardio at about 20-30 minutes, 2-3 days a week to keep your heart in shape without burning too many calories.
  • To lose fat: Start with 3 days of cardio (if you're a beginner) and work your way up to 4 to 6 days a week for 30 to 60 minutes of things like running and walking. Learn more at my Workout Center or see Cardio 101.

If you're just getting started, make it easier on yourself by:

  1. Scheduling your workouts: Treat them like any important appointment
  2. Keeping track of your workouts: Knowing you have to write them down is added motivation
  3. Finding someone to workout with: You'll be more likely to show up
  4. Starting where you are: Ease into exercise and allow your body time to get into shape
  5. Not giving up: You may fall off the wagon. If that happens, don't waste energy kicking yourself. Just get back to your routine and know it happens to all of us
  6. Doing things you enjoy: There's no reason you have to do activities you hate, so find cardio exercises that are accessible and enjoyable for you

As with weight training, a little cardio can go a long way towards getting you fit, strong and slim.

Next: Your Best Body - Your Diet

Related Video
Lower Body Toning with Lunges and Squats

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.