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Beginner Cardio - 20-Minute Workout

This basic cardio workout takes you through a moderate 20 minute routine where you'll alternate between a baseline, moderate level and a slightly higher level by changing your settings.  This workout is designed to be used with any cardio machine and you'll use this Perceived Exertion chart to match how you feel to the suggested Perceived Exertion levels (learn more about how to monitor your intensity).  Your baseline level should feel harder than your warm up, taking you just out of your comfort zone.  Keep in mind that your settings may change as you get deeper into the workout and start to get tired.  The idea is to find your baseline wherever it may be, even if you have to reduce your speed, incline, resistance, etc.

Precautions
See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses or other conditions.

Equipment Needed
Any cardio machine or activity.

How To

  • Complete each segment of the workout, setting speed, incline, resistance or ramps to match the suggested Perceived Exertion Levels
  • Modify the workout as needed to fit your fitness level, preferences and goals
  • Slow down or stop the workout if you feel any pain, dizziness or shortness of breath 
Time Intensity, Speed, Incline or Resistance Perceived Exertion
5 min. Warm up at an easy-moderate pace.  You should feel comfortable and be able to talk easily.  Allow your heart rate to rise gradually by slowly increasing your pace, resistance or incline throughout the warm up. 4
5 min. Baseline: Increase speed, incline or resistance (or use a combination) to find your baseline.  In this phase, you should be just a little out of your comfort zone and feel that you're working, but able to talk 5
2 min. Increase your incline, resistance or ramps until you feel you're working  a little harder than baseline.  Start with 1-2 increments at a time and go from there. 6
3 min. Reduce your incline, resistance, ramps or speed to get back to your baseline level. 5
1 min. Increase your incline, resistance or ramps until you feel you're working  a little harder than baseline.  Start with 1-2 increments at a time and go from there. 6
4 min. Reduce incline, resistance, ramps and/or speed until you're working at a comfortable level. 4
Total : 20 Minutes  
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