Cardio 101: The Basics of Cardiovascular Exercise

Anyone can benefit from a refresher on cardio 101 -- the basics of cardiovascular exercise. This is especially true for those who are new to physical activity and want to make sure they increase their heart rate in a safe and healthy way. For example, you'll want to know the difference between your target heart rate and maximum heart rate, and how long you should sustain aerobic activity during a workout.

Before You Hit the Ground Running

Ready to start a good cardiovascular exercise program, but not sure where to start? Looking for the best and most effective workout? Not sure how long and how often you need to exercise to benefit from a cardiovascular workout? Wondering how to calculate your ideal heart rate?
 
While you may have the motivation to dive into a cardio workout, there are some basics to cover before you hit the ground running. Incorporating these basics into your exercise program will help ensure your workout is safe, healthy, and best suited for you.
 
First of all, what is cardiovascular exercise? This type of exercise encompasses a vast array of activities that increase the work of the heart and lungs. It can be walking, running, swimming, and biking, just to name a few. Finding something you enjoy is half the battle, as it can be difficult for some people to find activities that they will stick with for the long term.
 
Once you have narrowed down some of the activities you enjoy and want to do on a regular basis, let's look at more specific details, such as how to get into your ideal heart rate zone, how long you need to be in that zone, how often you should exercise, and other helpful cardio 101 basics.
 
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Exercise Information

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