Three ways to improve your aerobic conditioning

Three ways to improve your aerobic conditioning

Just starting out? Go slow and go long
Bike, walk, jog, row, swim, cut the grass… You can do this with anything that allows continuous, cyclical movement. Walking on the flat ground might not be enough, depending on your conditioning. If that’s the case, add a light backpack. Or a baby. If you can find one.

Go for at least 20 minutes while keeping your heart rate at around 65-75% of its max (220- your age). Or at around 5.5 of perceived rate of exertion (RPE)

Already have a decent aerobic base? Try 30s/30s or 15s/15s
Short effort, followed by a short rest. You can pick any activity. Including weights as long you go light. I like kettlebell cleans and swings here. Again, go for at least 20 minutes, but up to 40. Keep the heart rate around 65-75%. The goal is to make the last set exactly the same level of effort as the first set. While looking exactly as pretty.

More advanced and with zero underlying health conditions? Poke 90%, return to 60%
What most people would consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Get your heart rate to 90%, then rest until you get to 60%. Go again.

Steer clear of heavy weights as they spike your heart rate. And the spike is often related to the resistance from the weights, not from the heart working harder. Do up to 10 reps.

Even though the heart rate goes higher than 75% with each interval, you’ll get the heart benefits based on the average heart rate over the session. And that average sits somewhere between 65-75%

No heart rate monitor? Aim for 9 on RPE. Go again once you can talk comfortably.

Save the HIIT interval for the days you’re feeling fresh. And no more than twice a week.

-J

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