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How to Incorporate Cardio Exercise Into Your Workouts

Cardiovascular (cardio) exercise training is one of the most effective methods for increasing your daily calorie expenditure, which is an integral component of weight management. When coupled with resistance training, cardio exercise can also improve your body composition by reducing your body fat percentage (click here for more information on body composition and body fat percentage guidelines).  

Related Article: How to Incorporate Resistance Training Into Your Workouts

The goals of my cardio exercise training program are centered on maintaining three things: 1) my current level of physical fitness, 2) my body weight, and 3) my body fat percentage. Since I’ve trained pretty hard for the last 15 years, I typically have to work out at a high intensity in order to maintain the amount of fitness that I so wish to maintain. I also alter my weight training exercise program in quarterly cycles.

Related Article: Why You Need to Change Your Exercise Routine Regularly

Below is a sample of my cardio exercise routine which is the first crucial component of my awesome weekly workout plan. This program is primarily geared towards optimizing my extremely pear-shaped figure. In general, high- to moderately-high-intensity cardio activity is critical for pear-shaped women as the lower body houses very large muscle groups that must be taxed accordingly for significant results.

Sunday
Distance run (between 6 and 10 miles) at an average pace of 8-10 minutes per mile for a total expenditure of 7000-1,000 calories. I absolutely love to start my week this way!  
 
Monday
Spinning (cycling) class averaging between 150 and 200 watts (moderate to vigorous) for 45 minutes and a total expenditure of 500 calories, AND/OR
Stair climbing at a difficulty level of 12 to 13 (out of 20) for a duration of 20 minutes which equates to 150 floors and a total expenditure of 300 calories.
 
Tuesday
Distance run (between 6 and 10 miles) at an average pace of 8-10 minutes per mile for a total expenditure of 700-1,000 calories.
  
Wednesday
Stair climbing at a difficulty level of 12 to 13 (out of 20) for a duration of 60 minutes which equates to 450 floors and a total expenditure of 900 calories, OR
Elliptical training at a moderate pace for a duration of 75 minutes and a total expenditure of 800 calories.
 
Thursday
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout (burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, and other callisthenics) for a duration leading to a total expenditure of at least 700 calories, OR
Distance run (between 6 and 10 miles) at an average pace of 8-10 minutes per mile for a total expenditure of 7000-1,000 calories. 
 
Friday
Stair climbing at a difficulty level of 12 to 13 (out of 20) for a duration of 60 minutes which equates to 450 floors and a total expenditure of 900 calories, OR
Elliptical training at a moderate pace for a duration of 75 minutes and a total expenditure of 800 calories, OR
Cardio rest day
 
Saturday
Full rest day
 

I wake up every morning with my cardio exercise training plan in mind; however, at least once or twice a month (or more), things just don’t go as planned. In such cases I simply adjust. For example, during travel, I may have to choose another form of cardio if my hotel doesn’t have any equipment available (outdoor running if a stair climber isn’t available on my stair climbing day).  

Moreover, if I have an emergency or some type of stressful situation, an hour of meditation may have to replace my cardio session altogether (it happens). In the event that I totally miss a workout, I make a conscious effort to ensure that my calorie consumption is completely intact. I also avoid the urge to go overboard with the next workout in an effort to stay on schedule.  

Successfully maintaining any exercise training plan requires regularity but also a little flexibility for sanity’s sake.

So there you have it. A sample of my cardio exercise training program in its entirety. Again, my program is pretty intense but hopefully I’ve provided you with some good information and valuable strategies for developing, or enhancing, your own exercise training program.  

Remember, performing regular exercise training in the forms of cardio exercise AND resistance training is an absolute must for weight management and, moreover, for improving your overall health and physical fitness (click here to check out my resistance training program).  

Find out what exercise training regimen works best for you. Get your copy of Leaving Your Fat Behind today! For more of the latest and greatest in health, fitness, and nutrition, “Like” me on Facebook at Nina Cherie, PhD of Complete Health Solutions and follow me on Twitter at @NinaCheriePhD.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.

Before starting an exercise training program you should first make sure that exercise is safe for you.  If you are under the age of 55 years and generally in good health, it is probably safe for you to exercise.  However, if you are over 55 years of age and/or have any health problems, be sure to consult with your physician before starting an exercise training program.

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