How Long Should Your Cardio Workouts Last?

Cardio workouts are extremely important if you want to lose weight or improve overall fitness. They’ll help get your body into shape and burn fat. Although there are general recommendations for how much cardio exercise we should get every week many of us don’t understand the guidelines and how they apply to them specifically.

Experts recommend that every person get a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3 to 5 times a week, but don’t pressure yourself into doing this amount of exercise if you aren’t ready. If you’re only just starting to exercise, start by doing some low impact exercises a few times a week, but just do it for as long as you are comfortable. If this is only 10 or 15 minutes, that’s fine. Just get your body prepared for longer durations in the long run by starting off slow.

Once you feel that you are getting fitter, aim for the 30 minutes a day recommendation. This can be alternate days at first, but you can increase this to every day once you feel ready for it. The 30 minutes does not have to come from a single session; you can break it up into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions, according to your schedule and preference. You can also increase the intensity at this point if you feel your body can handle it. However, remember not to jump into high impact workouts too fast without conditioning your body properly first.

For those who are exercising mainly for weight loss purposes, an increased duration would be even better. This means 45 to 60 minutes of cardio a day, at least 3 to 5 times a week. Again, the duration does not need to be completed in a single session. To lose weight effectively more calories and fat have to be burned, so moderate to higher intensity cardio workouts are recommended, though beginners should start slow as mentioned.

No matter what the duration of your workout is, it’s always important to remember a few things when doing your cardio. First of all, always spend at least 5 to 10 minutes of the session warming up for your workout, to get your body prepared for the hard work ahead. Also, be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and hydrate yourself enough before, during and after the workout. Good luck and happy exercising!