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Cardio questions

So, I've started doing cardio, and I have some questions about optimum performance using an elliptical...

Q: Is there any reason to use it more than once a day?  For example, would I benefit from using it in the morning before work, and in the evening after work / after dinner?

Q: What's the optimal time?  Am I better off doing 30 minutes, 45, 60, etc..  is there a point of diminishing returns?

Q: With 1 and 2 in mind, am I better off doing, for example, 30 minutes twice a day, or 60 minutes once a day?

Q: Given that my goal is to generally increase my level of fitness, improve my endurance, and get rid of some fat around my midsection, am I better off with a fast-paced, low-resistance routine, or a slow, high-resistance routine?

Q: My elliptical has various programs, including interval, various types of hills, and three target heart rate programs (60%, 75%, 85% I think).  With the above goals in mind, what type of program is best for me?

Q: Are there any other things I should know or ask?

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
tetsutora
Apr. 26th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
cardio, is cardio.the longer you use it, the more calories your going to burn, it doesn't matter "how long" thats an urban legend. energy expended is still energy expended no matter what time you do it. the only suggestions i can give are...
1. do it before you eat in the morning, that way your burning calories already converted into fat, that way you'l burn excess fat faster.
2. do it a single time a day, for longer. while 1 hour at one time isn't any different than 2 30 min exercises in the amount of calories you burn, it will help increase endurance.
tetsutora
Apr. 26th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
also, the optimum heart rate you want to be at is about 80% of your maximum. your maximum is figured as 120 - your age. for me, thats 95 beats a minute is my ideal "maximum" heartrate, as such, i should be aiming for about 20% less than that, and beating aroudn 75 beats a minute. if course, the longer you do it, the higher you can up your heartrate safely and the like, but its good to start out with a guideline of sorts =)
wolffit
Apr. 26th, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
Erm. 220 - age, isn't it?
tetsutora
Apr. 26th, 2007 07:41 am (UTC)
your right, 220, not 120. my bad.
kuriin
Apr. 26th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
The more resistance you put on, the more strength you're going to build. Whenever I'm doing things like that, I always try and keep the resistance a bit high while maintaining a good speed. I generally do it for 20-30 minutes each time I go to the gym.

Just remember, when you add resistance, it's obviously going to get harder. You sweat more by doing hard work, but if you go slow, it's not going to do much. Work yourself up to a good resistance before trying too hard.
kint
Apr. 26th, 2007 08:34 am (UTC)
To burn off more 'stored' energy (generally fat), you'll want to do cardio either first thing in the morn or about 3 hours after your last meal.

As to how long, all the stuff I'm working with says 20-30 minutes is really the max you need to do in any given day, though those programs are combined with weight lifting on alternating days. It may be different if you're just doing cardio.

Varying the pace of your workout really helps keep the metabolism running high. The 20 minute 'circuit' I do runs roughly as such...

2 minute warm-up, level 5 intensity (aka, a brisk but comfortable pace)

4 x 4 minute sections, stepping up from 6 to 7, 8, 9 with each minute, dropping back to 6 at the next section.

1 minute of 'push' to level 10 after your final section

1 minute (or perhaps more) of cooldown at level 5.

This page explains it better than I...
http://bodyforlife.com/exercise/cardiotraining.asp
firedhusky
Apr. 29th, 2007 02:26 am (UTC)
I m really not an expert in the matter.but,

just start easy and increase the level, when you reach a level that wont let you complete your work out (30 min average for me) slow down.
i think you have to use a level that allows you to finish your workout and increase it as you get in better shape.
If you ever want to go runing outside let me know :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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wolffit
Galen Wolffit

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