Right Cardio for You

It is hard to stick with something you do not enjoy so you have to select the right cardio for you. There are five basic types of cardiovascular exercise. Many activities fall within the five main categories so you have to determine what category best suits you while keeping your physical abilities and preferences in mind. The five include:
  1. Low Intensity, Long Duration Cardio
  2. Medium Intensity, Medium Duration Cardio
  3. High Intensity, Short Duration Cardio
  4. Aerobic Interval Training
  5. Anaerobic Interval Training

After making your selection, you can explore the activities within that category and develop your cardio routine around those options. Below you’ll find more details on each type.

Low Intensity, Long Duration Cardio

Low intensity, long duration cardio is ideal for those just getting started with their cardiovascular training. Individuals more focused on other training methods like weight lifting and those that just want to integrate cardio for general health purposes can benefit as well. This type of cardiovascular training stays within the 40-60% MHR range and is 45-60 minutes in duration. Activities that fall within this category include walking, jogging, elliptical training, and cycling.

Medium Intensity, Medium Duration Cardio

This category is a step up from low intensity, long duration cardio. Medium intensity, medium duration cardio also includes activities like jogging, elliptical training, and cycling but it involves intensities within 60-75% MHR. Due to the increase in intensity, duration should not exceed 40 minutes. Average duration is about 30-40 minutes.

High Intensity, Short Duration Cardio

High-intensity, short-duration cardio is for those looking for a challenge and exceptional results pertaining to fat loss, stamina, endurance and lung capacity. This is the type of cardio often referred to as high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It involves short, intense intervals of aerobic activity. High intensity means that max heart rate should be anywhere from 80-85%. HIIT workouts are usually 10-20 minutes in duration but anything fewer than 30 minutes is acceptable. Those who choose to extend their high-intensity session may want to stay at 75-80% MHR until performance improves.

Aerobic Interval Training

Aerobic interval training is about variation. It combines high, medium, and low-intensity work done within 1-5 minute durations to keep the body in its aerobic zone by not pushing it so far that you’re forced to stop. Unlike HIIT, you move from one interval and then repeat without taking an inactive rest period which is why variation in intensity is important. Aerobic interval training is perfect for those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.

Anaerobic Interval Training

Anaerobic interval training is the magic of cardiovascular exercise. It is basically training without oxygen or without enough oxygen. You are probably wondering how that’s even possible. By exerting yourself to perform at a minimum of 85% MHR, an oxygen deficit is created meaning the body requires more oxygen than it can consume. Oxygen stores must be replenished in order for the body to return to its resting metabolic state. This causes the body to continue to burn calories as it refuels these stores making anaerobic intervals a good fit for those open to a challenge who are seeking serious results pertaining to fat loss and overall performance.