Starting Cardiovascular Training

Starting Cardiovascular TrainingStarting cardiovascular training can seem overwhelming at first. With a simple game plan it can be very easy to start, maintain, and enjoy regular, cardiovascular exercise. You just need to remember the FITT principle and you will be successful.

The FITT Principle

    • F = Frequency
    • I = Intensity
    • T = Time
    • T = Type

“Frequency” is how often you will do cardiovascular exercise. “Intensity” is how hard your workout will be. “Time” is duration of the workout and “Type” is what kind of cardio you will do.

My recommendation when starting cardiovascular training is to set realistic and obtainable goals. For instance, if you are new, your program may start like this:

Frequency = 3x/week
Intensity= Moderate
Time= 20-minutes
Type = Treadmill walking on an incline mixed with slow jogs on a flat

As your cardio fitness improves you can vary the “Time” of your workouts and increase the “Intensity”. As with any type of conditioning, consistency is best.

Sometimes starting cardiovascular training is a challenge because of boredom, so make sure to switch up the “Type” of exercise you select. You can alternate the “Type” daily or within the same workout.

For instance, if you’re doing 30-minutes of cardio per workout you could spend 10-minutes on a bike, 10-minutes on a treadmill, and 10-minutes on a rowing machine. You could also split the “Time” throughout the day, it doesn’t have to happen all at once. Thirty minutes is thirty minutes.

Heart Rate Monitors

I find clients that are starting cardiovascular training really benefit from a heart rate monitor. The HRM will bring awareness to the “Intensity” of the workout making it more tangible. Plus it makes varying the “Intensity” easier by viewing the heart rate zones.

Any entry level HRM is fine. Some features to look for are:

  • View heart rate by beats per minute (BPM) and by percentage (%)
  • Total time in your heart rate zones
  • Maximum heart rate for the workout
  • Average heart rate for the workout

You can find a good, solid, heart rate monitor with these features for about $80 at Heart Rate Monitors USA.

There is no time like the present for starting cardiovascular training, you can do it!!