Rules of Cardio Training
• Don’t overdo it. “No pain, no gain” is hogwash. The better expression is “No train, no gain.” Training in the heart zones achieves cardio benefits and has nothing to do with pain if you begin in the Blue zone (the easy zone). If you haven’t exercised routinely for a year or more, almost any Yellow or Red zone (moderate and hard) workout will cause some pain, and nothing undermines your commitment more than sore, aching muscles. Stay in the Blue for the first six to eight weeks.
• Try something different. I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t done some sort of exercise they like. Find some activity you like and start there. If walking or jogging or bicycling or climbing stairs bores you, try something new. Weight training, tennis, swimming, yoga, karate, tap dancing—your options are limitless. And, in addition to getting fit, you might just pick up a new hobby!
• Take your time. Although you will see concrete results by the end of the first week of your initial thirty-day program, you’ll see even more at the end of a month. Remember, you’re committed to a long-term goal: a lifetime of fitness.
• Extra Credit Activity: Try a heart rate monitor. I don’t want to sound like a saleswoman, but I’ve found that the new, inexpensive heart rate monitors like the Blink add an interesting dimension to any workout. A good tennis racquet costs over a hundred dollars, and home exercise equipment, like rowing machines and stationary bikes, can cost several hundred or more. An investment in a heart rate monitor can pay handsome returns, keeping you continuously, effortlessly, and accurately in the right workout zones, enabling you to achieve your fitness goals.
If you are relatively unfit and are just beginning ZONING, adhere to these “Novice Zoner” guidelines:
• Frequency: about four times per week.
• Intensity: Blue zone.
• Time: fifteen to thirty minutes per workout.
You may find yourself enjoying your new fitness routine so much that you are eager to push yourself. That’s great—but please be careful. You don’t want to end up doing more than you should too early in the program. Keep in mind the four P’s: Passion, Patience, Perseverance, and Progression. Allow your body time to adjust while providing the activities it loves (Passion), move up the colorful zones gradually (Patience), and stick to your program (Perseverance). By completing the first three Ps, you achieve the fourth (Progression) automatically as you steadily take your fitness and endurance to higher levels.
More to come ..
Keep your eyes peeled as we continue to release excerpts throughout upcoming weeks. If you want to learn more about zoning, make sure to swing by our online store and grab a copy of ZONING, Health in a Blink.