Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cardio & Heart Rate

Cardio is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to burn calories. It’s also one of the reasons most people don’t like to work out. It can be uncomfortable, boring and even painful. However, cardio improves cardiovascular health and is essential for losing unwanted belly fat. You can’t spot reduce but there is no denying that cardio helps slim the midsection. Beginners often lack a good starting and lose motivation quickly because they don’t see the results that make cardio seem worth it. If you are new to cardiovascular exercise, I promise it is worth it and with small steps you will be on your way to heart health and weight management in no time.  One of the reasons I love P90X is you have options so you will never get bored! Between Kenpo and Plyo, there are plently of moves to tackle.




Rate of Perceived Effort and Heart Rate
You can follow simple 1-10 scale of rate of perceived effort (RPE)  to help you determine your level of aerobic intensity. A warm up will usually ask for a 3-4 RPE, an all out effort of 8-9 but usually most of your workout will lie somewhere in-between. Level 1 is sitting on your couch and a 10 is your maximum heart rate (HR). A simple method to finding your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. If you are 35 years old, your maximum HR is 185.

To reap health benefits of cardiovascular activity, beginners should aim to maintain a heart rate between 57% and 94% of your maximum HR during your exercise.

To determine this range a 35-year-old women would then take 185 x .57 to find the low end of her target HR range, and 185 x .94 for the high end of her HR range. This comes out to a range of 105 – 173 beats per minute (bpm).
For beginners, a good starting off point is to aim for 3-5 times per week for 20-90 continuous minutes or 10-minute intermittent bouts done throughout the day.


I personally love using my Heart Rate Monitor because it makes it super easy to track your rate (and calories burned!)
So you hate to run? Not a problem. From a calorie stand point, you will burn the same amount of calories running a mile as you would walking – it just takes you a little longer. For example, running 3 miles in 30 minutes will burn the same amount of calories as walking 3 miles in 60 minutes. If walking on a treadmill, aim to walk between 3.5-4 mph to get your heart rate pumping. If you are outside, aim to walk to the beat of Staying Alive by the Bee Gees (103 bpm).

Intervals are a great way to increase the amount of fat and calories you burn during your workouts. Again, this is why I love P90X or Insanity. It also combats boredom and helps improve cardiovascular performance. Whether your goal is to run a 5K, lose weight, or improve health, try this interval program outside or in your living room with Tony Horton. Do this once a week, mixed in with at least 2 more days of steady-state cardio reaching your target heart rate zone for the recommended amount of time outlined above. If you are walking, perform Go Hard intervals at 4 mph with an incline of 8-10 percent. Recover with 4 mph at a 4 percent incline. If you want to build endurance for running, perform Go Hard intervals at 7 mph, and recover with a 5 mph jog or 4 mph brisk walk with an incline of 4 percent.


5 minutes RPE 3-4 (Warm Up)
30 seconds RPE 7 (Go Hard)
3 minutes RPE 5-6 (Recover)
30 seconds RPE 7 (Go Hard)
3 minutes RPE 5-6 (Recover)
30 seconds RPE 8 (Go Hard)
3 minutes RPE 5-6 (Recover)
30 seconds RPE 8 (Go Hard)
3 minutes RPE 5-6 (Recover)
5 minutes RPE 4 (Cool Down)

Replace Your Running Shoes

Hey guys, just another side note- Take care of those toosies! Make sure you replace you shoes every 300-500 miles or every 3-4 months!

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