5 Things You Should Do Before Starting a New Cardio Workout Program


If you are new to cardio exercising, the absolute first thing you should do is consult with your doctor to see if your heart is healthy enough to do cardio workouts. Once cleared by your doctor, then move onto these five steps:

1) Determine Your Fitness Level

To know if you are improving or not, you have to know your starting point. Here are some simple measurements you should take before starting a cardio program:

Pulse rate – take your pulse rate before and after you walk one mile.

Weight – if you are using cardio as a weight loss method, you will want to know your weight before starting your program, so you know how much you lose.

Body Mass Index – a fairly reliable measurement of a person’s body fat based on weight and height. You should strive to have a BMI of less than 25.0, but more than 18.4.

To measure your BMI on the U.S. Standard System, take your weight in pounds divided by your height in inches2 and multiply by 703. If you use the metric system, then take your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters2. The resulting value from either system is your BMI.

2) Develop Your Program

First, determined your end fitness goal. If it is to lose weight, write down your desired ending weight. Regardless of your goal, it has to be realistic and achievable.

Next create a balanced routine encompassing 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. In that time, a couple days per week should include strengthening exercises. For the rest of the week, create a few different cardio routines so that you can keep from getting bored with the same routine.

Always go at your own pace. Start slow if you are just getting into exercising and increase your pace as you get fitter.

Finally, give your muscles time for recovery, by working different muscle groups with each routine.

3) Gather Your Equipment

If you are new to exercising and depending on the cardio program you plan to use, you may need some equipment you may not already have, such as wrist weights. Also because most cardio workout programs involve running or moving around a lot, be sure to have a good pair of running shoes or cross trainers. Plan to replace your shoes at least every six months.

4) Start Exercising

If you are not a regular exerciser, then start slow. As with all cardio routines always be sure to warm up before exercising and cool down afterward. You may only be able to go for 5 to 10 minutes when first starting out, but soon you will be able to go a full 30 minutes. Also it is just as beneficial to do three 10-minute workouts as it is one 30-minute routine.

5) Monitor and Assess Your Progress

Periodically reassess your fitness level to see if you are making progress. If so, great; stay with your current activities. If not, see how you can change things up to make more progress.

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