Cardio Workouts for Beginners: A Helpful Guide
You may think of cardio exercise as an endless sprint into the distance, but cardio consists of so much more than lacing up your sneakers and sweating it out! A cardio workout can be as creative as you are. So, we are going to walk you through cardio workouts for beginners to set you on the right path to loving your cardio workouts!
While you may think of a treadmill workout as some sort of punishment for eating too much cheese over the weekend (just us?), it is so much more than that. The treadmill is the perfect place to have a cardio workout for beginners at the gym. The first thing you need to know when using the treadmill is where your current fitness level is.
If you are brand new to the gym, you may want to start with a brisk walk. Push that green Quick Start button on your cardio machine, and try to walk at 2.5 mph – 4 mph for 20 to 30 minutes. If that is not enough for you, you can add a little incline. Move up 1% incline per every 2 minutes until you feel like you’ve reached your max. Once you are feeling confident about these workouts, you can increase your speed to a gentle jog or even add in some intervals. Somewhere around 4.5 mph to 5.5 mph is a fantastic place to start, adding incline if you choose. When you are a little more advanced, hike that up to a full-on run at 5.5 mph or faster. By playing with speed and incline, you can create a workout plan that you will look forward to completing. If you are not quite sure where to start, check out your gym’s schedule to see when there is a Team Training session near you!
Another great workout to participate in if you are looking for a fun and fulfilling cardio workout is swimming! Yes, swimming is cardio. In fact, swimming is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise for anyone new to working out because it a low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints, builds strength due to the resistance from the water, and the coolness from the water is believed to allow for smoother oxygen exchange. To get started, try and swim 400 meters at your best pace. An Olympic-sized pool is 50 meters, so that means you would be swimming the length of the pool eight times. Take it 50 meters at a time, stop when you need to, and go at your own pace. Every time you try this workout, you will get better, and soon you will be giving Michael Phelps a run for his money.
Cycling is another low-impact workout that is great for beginners. In our cardio section, you will see two types of bikes: recumbent and upright. Depending on your needs you may prefer one over the other. The main difference is the seat position and back support. If you are suffering from back issues, head to the recumbent bike (this bike is lower to the ground and has a seat with back support). If not, the upright bike will be an excellent choice for you. Try and pedal at your best speed that you can keep consistently for 20 minutes and track your mileage. Every time you come in, try and beat that number! If you want something a little more diverse, head to our cycling studio where you can enjoy a super fun, high-energy class.
Another fantastic place to start is in a group exercise class. Our talented instructors will be there to guide you along the way, correct your form, and be the motivator to push you beyond the intensity where you think you can go. Check out classes like cardio kickboxing, Zumba, BODYCOMBAT, and BODYPUMP where you can get a fantastic mix of cardio and strength training.
The most important thing to note in your new cardio endeavor is to find something that you love to do, and try to do that for 30 minutes 3 times a week. Mix it in with strength training and rest to ensure that you have a well-rounded fitness routine. You can find cardio equipment at all of our locations. So, come to the Chuze Fitness nearest you and begin your training today!