• Main page

Cardio, Learn to Love It


I’m sure we have all heard the saying “I hate cardio” or “you should do cardio”? What exactly is cardio, what does this even mean? This week I want to tell you exactly what is it, The Benefits of Cardio Vascular Training, and how important it is. Also I will add a typical beginners Cardio workout for you to try and see what you think of this “cardio” phase.

The term cardio, is any exercise generally that when done, elevates the heart rate. Scientifically it is a movement which draws oxygen towards the muscles and is then used to produce energy and move the muscles. It makes all the muscles stronger and most importantly the heart and lungs which are two large and extremely important muscles for, not only exercise but to stay alive from day to day.

To benefit most from cardio, your workout should be sustained over a period of time, using only 50% of your hearts capacity. Each and every person has a different level of heart rate when rested so thereford everybodys cardio will vary depending on job, activity levels outside of work, age, gender etc.


To calculate our heart rate when it is ay rest (is when sitting and not after exercise or climbing stairs) find your pulse. Locate a vein either in your wrist or neck and feel for the pulse or the heart beat. When you find it start a stop watch and time for 10 seconds, counting each pulse or beat you feel, the multiply by 6 and there you have it your heart rate at rest.

If you are doing this test with family or friends, don’t worry if on comparison they are very far apart, anywhere from 60 beats to 100 betas in the minute is normal. Generally speaking the lower the heart rate is at rest, the fitter a person is, for example an athlete could have a resting heart rate of 40 beats per minute, mine typically beats 50 times in a minute when I am rested.

Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age. This is the heart rate your should not exceed for effective cardio sessions. See below a table that incorporates age and will show you, on average what your heart rate to should be at both a 50% workout and a full on, 100% workout. If you are on medication or suffer with high or low blood pressure your heart rate will vary and should be monitored so please get it checked with your doctor as the these factors change the general pattern I am using here. Also the 100% effort cardio should only be done by someone who is not injured or sick and also it is not advisable for older adults.

Age Target HR Zone 50-85% Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%
20 years 100-170 beats per minute 200 beats per minute
30 years 95-162 beats per minute 190 beats per minute
35 years 93-157 beats per minute 185 beats per minute
40 years 90-153 beats per minute 180 beats per minute
45 years 88-149 beats per minute 175 beats per minute
50 years 85-145 beats per minute 170 beats per minute
55 years 83-140 beats per minute 165 beats per minute
60 years 80-136 beats per minute 160 beats per minute
65 years 78-132 beats per minute 155 beats per minute
70 years 75-128 beats per minute 150 beats per minute


So that’s the background, science information. What are the benefits of Cardiovascular training?

The list is endless, health wise its good for the general working of the heart and lungs as it improves the efficiency of the oxygenated blood traveling around the body. Its great for weight loss, and maintain weight. Cardio training can be one of the main focuses on increasing fitness levels. On a mental level its great for clearing the mind, as you exercise you release a hormone called endorphins, which are a “feel good” hormone, that stimulates you and will in fact, 100% cheer you up. So why not partake?

Cardio can prove risky though, for those injured, or elderly or anyone who suffers with h eart problems. So I do ask you get checked, and certified by your GP before you try out cardio for the first time.

Here is a quick workout you can try in the gym or at home, and see what you think of Cardiovascular training.

Warm up (vital) walk or jog for 10 minutes elevating heart rate (if you are in the gym you can monitor the heart rate on the machine so get it elevated over 100bpm)

For the following 20 minutes either keep the jog up, or maintain a running pace, you need the 20 minutes to sustain a heart rate which is ideal for weight loss and fat burning.

Then, for 10 minutes cool down, either by walking again or if you are in the gym pick a second piece of equipment like the bike or rower and, on a low level, keep moving for the 10 minutes.

That’s 40 min its completed and you won’t feel the time going. Mix up the machine, or if you have a bicycle at home, brush the dust off and get put on it.

Remember to stretch before and after the session and try to repeat at least 3 days this week, and see how you feel. Drink plenty of water throughout also, as a common conception is the more we sweat the more fat we lose. This is incorrect, the more you sweat the more vital salts and hydration you lose and this can be bad for weight loss. So drink plenty.

author: kingfisherclub