- The first step in beginning a cardiovascular training program is to determine whether such training places you at a health risk. If you are over 50 years old, or have a personal or family history of heart disease or high blood pressure, consult your medical doctor before beginning a cardiovascular training program.
- Next, determine your resting heart rate and write it down. To do so, sit comfortably in a chair and away from stressors. Place the pads of your index and middle fingers over your radial pulse
NORMAL BASELINE HEART RATE (insert photo here of woman taking heart rate)
- Determine your target heart rate. To determine your target heart rate, click here - Target Heart Rate
- Begin exercising slowly and at "conversational pace" (You should be able to carry-on a conversation while exercising.) In the early stages of training, your heart rate may enter the target zone rather quickly.
- It is important to monitor your heart rate to be sure that your heart rate does not fall outside of the target zone.
- Begin exercise in the target zone for 10 minutes, three days per week. Add 1 minute per day, per week, until you have reached 30 minutes of exercise, five days per week. (If you think that this is a lot, consider this: The American Heart Association recommends 60 minutes of cardiovascular training, six days per week.)
- When your daily cardiovascular exercises is completed, and you have warmed down, measure the time required for your heart rate to return to its resting rate. Over time, you will note that two things occur: (1) your resting heart rate becomes slower, and (2) the time to return to baseline becomes quicker...you are getting more cardiovascularly fit!