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How long and how often should I do cardio?

Oct 15, 2013

Annette Suridis
FT Naples

"Cardiovascular wellbeing is pertinent to living a healthy lifestyle. Each day a person should minimally walk at a fast pace to get some basic cardiovascular work for at least 20 minutes. Further advanced training is dependent upon your current cardiovascular health and may depend upon monitoring your heart rate and blood pressure. Remember that you want to stress your heart -- if healthy -- to improve its fitness level. I recommend three days of cardio fitness to go hand in hand with workouts."

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge

"Here in Basking Ridge we recommend early morning interval training, such as a sprint-to-walk split for a maximum time of 25 minutes, three times a week. This will burn fat while maintaining lean muscle."

Bruce Kelly
FT Media

"I think we have to think outside of the box on what constitutes 'cardio' and encourage people to do what they will likely do on a consistent basis. For example, if someone likes to play tennis -- singles in particular -- that may constitute the bulk of their cardio. As with any 'training' consistency is key and Energy System Development (ESD) is no different.

"In addition, we should encourage clients to exercise along the continuum of the ESD systems from the short burst ATP-PC system to the glycolytic to the oxygen system. Many have become trapped in the long, steady-state mode of training which very few people can sustain.

"The other thing with that type of training is that, by definition, the only way to progress it is to add volume. If you add intensity then it's no longer steady state cardio. The problem with adding volume is two-fold: it takes more time and it also increases the likelihood of overuse injuries even with something as seemingly benign as ellipticals.

"So I would say three to five times per week, vary the modes and intensities, and don't be married to any one type of training. Mix it up and cover the spectrum of energy system work.  Your fitness will improve and you will be more likely to stick with it."


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