How to Determine the Length of Your Cardio Workout

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The length of time you devote to a cardio workout depends on the exercise you're doing and what you hope to achieve. Follow these steps to determine how long you should work out.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Exercise shoes
  • Workout clothes

Determine the Right Length of Time for a Cardio Workout

  • Determine what it is you're trying to accomplish with your cardio workout plan. The amount of time you devote to your cardio workout depends heavily on the results you are trying to achieve.

  • Devote more time to your cardio workout for weight loss purposes. If you're going for weight management instead of loss, you don't need to spend as much time working out.

  • Devote about 30 to 45 minutes of cardio workout for weight maintenance. You'll need to do this at least three times per week. Four to five times is better, if you have the time.

  • Set aside 45 minutes to 1 hour for your cardio workout if you want to lose weight. You need to do this at least three times a week. The more weight you want to lose, the more often you need to go. An hour a day, five times a week would be ideal for weight loss.

  • Determine the length of time for your cardio workout depending on what exercise you are doing. Fast running, spinning and aerobics are high intensity and burn many calories. Gentle walking, however, is less intense and thus burns fewer calories in the same amount of time.

  • Adjust your cardio workout time if you are on a deadline. If you're trying to fit into that new swimsuit for your upcoming vacation, you'll need to increase the time and intensity of your workouts.

  • Make your cardio workout a part of your lifestyle. It's easier to skip your workout if its just another item on your to do list, but if riding your bike or swimming is viewed as an essential activity like eating or sleeping, you'll be less likely to skip a session.

Tips & Warnings

  • Drink lots of water. Staying properly hydrated helps your body reach its optimal metabolic level and will help you lose weight.
  • Don't expect to lose 20 pounds overnight. Set realistic goals and give yourself enough time to reach them.

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