Step 1: Record Your Measurements - If your goal is to lose weight, record a few basic vital statistics to track your progress.
Step 2: Get Your Doctor's Clearance - If you have any injuries, illnesses or conditions or are on any medications, talk to your doctor to make sure it's okay to exercise.
Step 3: Prepare for Your Workouts - Your cardio workouts are designed to be done on any cardio machine. If you prefer other activities (e.g., running, cycling, fitness videos, group fitness classes), choose another option as a substitute. For the strength workouts, you'll need various weighted dumbbells (e.g., 3-12 lbs), an exercise ball and a mat. If you're new to strength training, familiarize yourself with the basics and how to choose your weight.
Step 4: Your First Workout
Choose any cardio machine (treadmill, elliptical, bike, stairmaster, rowing machine, etc.), set it on a manual mode and find your warm up pace. For the bulk of the workout, you'll change the settings (incline, speed, resistance, ramps, etc.) every few minutes to work at a moderate level, ending with a cool down and using this Perceived Exertion Chart to work at the suggested intensity levels.
- 5 min - Warm up at an easy-moderate pace Perceived Exertion Level: 4
- 5 min - Baseline: Increase speed, incline and/or resistance so that you're just out of your comfort zone, but able to talk. Perceived Exertion: 5
- 2 min - Increase your incline, resistance and/or ramps until you working a little harder than baseline. Perceived Exertion: 6
- 3 min - Reduce your incline, resistance, ramps or speed back to baseline. Perceived Exertion: 5
- 1 min - Increase your incline, resistance and/or ramps until you working a little harder than baseline. Perceived Exertion: 6
- 4 min - Reduce incline, resistance, ramps and/or speed back to a moderate level. Perceived Exertion: 4
View the full Basic Cardio Workout.
Do the following stretches after your cardio:
- Cat Stretch (Repeat 5 times)
- Hamstring Stretch (Hold for 15-30 seconds on each side)
- Hip Flexor Stretch (Hold for 15-30 seconds on each side)
- Seated Hip Stretch (Hold for 15-30 seconds on each side)