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The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner's Guide To Fitness Day 10

You're learning about fitness nutrition and strength training this month, but that's not all. Cardio also has a place in your fitness arsenal, and it's time to get in your first session!

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Over the last 10 days you have tried many new things, such as yesterday's venture into machine-loaded resistance training. Today we work on another important area of fitness: cardiovascular training.

If you've ever tried to "get fit" in the past, you probably tried cardio training. In fact, there's a good chance it's all you tried, like ON athlete Dayna Tappan did for years. "I was only familiar with a treadmill, so I stuck to it like glue," she wrote in the article "10 Pro Tips For Beginners."

The 30-Day Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Fitness is all about expanding your fitness horizons. But that doesn't mean there's no room for familiar low-intensity activities like walking, running, biking, or the elliptical. Just like weights, they're a tool. Kathleen will tell you more in today's video.

Ultimate 30 Day Beginners Guide To Fitness: Day 10
Watch The Video - 02:51

Day 10 Challenge

  • Perform a steady-state cardiovascular workout.

Cardio can be any activity that challenges your heart and lungs to work harder to deliver oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. It's best to make it something you enjoy—no matter if that's swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or basketball. In the gym environment, you're most likely to see people utilizing the treadmill, stair climber, elliptical, bike, and rowing machines, which are all fine, too.

If you spend much time reading about fitness online, you may have noticed that it's currently hip for fitness writers and posters to hate on what's called "steady-state cardio," which refers to activities like low- or moderate-intensity jogging, walking, elliptical work, and biking. They'd have you believe that anything less than a full sprint will make you "skinny-fat" faster than you can say "5k." Don't believe it!

Like any training style—including high-intensity sprints—you can do too much steady-state cardio. But in reasonable doses, it provides undeniable benefits. It can help you recover from weight training, for instance, reducing soreness and helping your muscles remove waste products and transport nutrients. It can also help you add more overall activity to your lifestyle and burn calories without putting immense extra demands on your muscles or central nervous system.

You'll try both high-intensity and steady-state cardio in this trainer, and the key to making each one work is to make sure it lives up to its name. High-intensity cardio should be as hard as you can handle—or more. Steady-state cardio, though, should be, well, steady. You should be able to maintain a conversation, and your heart rate shouldn't go much higher than 120 beats per minute, depending on your age and fitness level.

Today, try one of the options below for 30-45 minutes to burn calories, promote recovery, and strengthen your heart!

Cardio Workout

Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill

Elliptical Trainer Elliptical Trainer

Stairmaster Stairmaster

Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill

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