Creating a cardio exercise plan is not a complex process. It takes some common sense and a good understanding of what is available around you. You need to set some goals and plan to meet those goals. It also helps to know yourself and what you like and dislike before planning a workout routine around exercise that you can’t stand doing.
Set Your Goals
The first step in planning a cardio routine is to sit down and figure out what your goals are. If you want to lose fat write it down. Maybe you want to improve your stamina or improve your cardiovascular health. It could be that you just want to make everyday activities easier. There is no right or wrong answer, it is just what you want to accomplish through your exercise routine.
Once you have established your goals you need to look at what you have available for cardio options. If you work out at a gym or health club look at what they have to offer for cardio equipment. If you work out at home assess you r current cardio options and any others that you plan to add in the future. If you know you will be buying a treadmill or elliptical trainer then that can be factored into your program.
After the first two steps are done you can begin to put together a routine that will help you reach your goals. The routine must be one that you can stick with for the duration. Don’t choose exercises that you despise or that you have to force yourself to do because it won’t last. Choose exercises that you enjoy doing. If you like biking, base your routine around biking, with some other cardio exercises pieced in to add variety. If you love swimming, but can only get to the pool twice a week, you can add other lower body cardio work the other two days to balance out the workload. If you enjoy walking you can find different paths and routes to walk to keep it interesting and then invest in a treadmill for the days when weather forces you inside.
Once you have a routine that looks good put it to the test. Do your cardio routine for a month. If, after that month, you need to make some changes go ahead. You may find some activities that you want to do more often and others that you are not as sure of. The cardio routine should be an ever evolving beast. You will find exercises that you want to add in to try and others you want to drop, even for just a little while. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new exercises, but be sure to give them enough time to work if they are going to.
It is a good idea to write the routine down and note any changes. Keep track of your progress in a notebook or journal. Write down times and distances so you can watch your progress. You might also note physique changes or measurements, again for progress charting. Seeing these numbers also helps with motivation.
Music, television, or videos can be a good distraction, especially as the duration of the activities increase. Having a partner to train with also helps the time pass quicker. They also serve as a motivating factor because you have to be there to train with them and can’t just skip out on a training session. When picking a partner, make sure to pick someone with similar goals and the same drive as you.
Designing a good cardio routine is not rocket science. Start with your goals, then look at the available cardio exercises, match those up, and then get started. The only bad cardio routine is the one you never start.