Cardio is when you are involved in an activity that raises your heart rate to a Target Rate or Training Heart Rate Zone. How do I calculate my training heart rate zone?
220 – Age = Maximum Heart Rate
Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate = Heart Rate Reserve
Heart Rate Reserve x .65 + Resting Heart Rate = Low end of Training Heart Rate Zone
Heart Rate Reserve x .85 + Resting Heart Rate = High end of Training Heart Rate Zone
So, 220 – your age – RHR x desired intensity level + RHR = Target Heart Rate. Unless you are a well-trained or professional athlete we do not recommend an intensity level higher than 85 percent. You should be able to talk and work-out at the same time.
Cardio is the most effective way to burn calories and help lose weight, although the type of cardio used should depend on body type, present or past injuries and how aggressive you want to pursue your fitness goal. Cardiovascular exercise is also important because it strengthens your heart so it doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood. It reduces the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Also cardio helps you sleep better and reduces stress, among other things.
We recommend between 15 and 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity within your training heart rate zone a day. Running, power walking, aerobic dancing, jumping rope, swimming, stair stepping, rowing, sports, bicycling, elliptical are all ways to incorporate cardio into your lifestyle.