Cardio workouts help you trim weight and improve your overall health. Setting a regular schedule for workouts is important for maximizing results. Many people change up the type of cardio they do, which helps to break up the monotony. The duration of a workout depends on your level of fitness and the goals you want to achieve.
- Running. Distance running is one of the most popular cardio workouts. It will take some time to build up your endurance, so start out by alternating walking and running. For example, if you are on a high school track that is a 400 meters in length, walk for 100 meters, then run for 100 meters. Continue this pattern for eight full laps around the track, and then quit for the day. As you get more fit, reduce the amount of walking and increase the running.
- Treadmill. If running outside is not your thing, using a treadmill for your workout is another way to burn calories. Having a treadmill at home is a convenience but not a necessity, since most health clubs have a variety of treadmills available. As with running outside, start out with a mix of walking and running on the treadmill until you are fit enough to run for your entire workout.
- Sports. Playing team or individual sports is another popular method of cardio. Team sports such as volleyball, soccer or touch football all require a lot of jumping or running. Individual sports like tennis or racquetball will work your cardio. When you first start out, try to play with other people who are close to your level of fitness. Once you are ready, push yourself by competing against better athletes which will improve your cardio.
- Aerobics. Taking an aerobics class is another way to get in a cardio workout. If you prefer privacy, there are many aerobics DVD’s you can buy to use for a workout in your home. Don’t worry about competing with other people at the health club or with the experienced people you see on a DVD, just workout at your own pace. Eventually you will be able to keep up with the workout after you have built up your fitness level.
- Swimming. This activity is not often practical, but if you have a pool at home or belong to a YMCA, you can get in a cardio workout. Swimming laps is dangerous when you are inexperienced, so make sure to not overdo it until you are proficient. Take breaks if necessary by swimming over to the side of the pool and grabbing the edge.