3 Effective Ways to Incorporate Cardio into Your Routine

Cardio into Your Routine

Just like strength training, cardio is crucial when it comes to keeping your weight on track.

Did you know that to strengthen your heart, burn fat and manage your weight, you should incorporate at least 30 minutes of cardio into your routine 3-4x per week? Cardio exercise is amazing for our bodies and is incorporated in some shape or form into nearly all exercise programs.

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But, balance is KEY!

Habitually undertaking long cardio workouts can be counterproductive and cause you to lose muscle mass (think of a skinny, less-shapely look). Along with cardio, it’s equally as important to incorporate a little strength training into your routine. Creating a healthy balance between cardio and strength workouts will allow you to achieve better results in a much more sustainable way.

Choosing a cardio exercise

With an array of options like running, swimming and the elliptical, you’ll never get bored. The first step is to find what’s accessible for you and then figure out what you like (and dislike).

If you prefer the outdoors, running and cycling are great options. Enjoy the gym? You can hop on a treadmill or elliptical. If you’re an at-home exerciser, HIIT workouts (or a combination of cardio exercises like burpees, jumping jacks and mountain climbers) may be what works best for you.

Try interval training for better results

When most of us think of cardio, we think of exercising at a steady pace, with a fixed intensity. But, because this style of workout doesn’t vary your energy output or require your body to constantly challenge itself, it can lead to a weight-loss plateau.

That’s right, even consistent, long cardio sessions may not allow you to achieve your fitness or weight-loss goals if you aren’t switching things up every once in a while. Studies have shown that interval running/training (where you vary your energy outputs), is much more effective. This style of exercise saves time and allows you to achieve faster results. So, instead of going overboard with hours of cardio, try challenging yourself with 2-4 interval sessions a week for 20-30 minutes. 

Not sure where to start?

We know you have so many choices, and you may not even know what kind of cardio exercise you prefer yet, so we’ve provided three interval workouts below as the PERFECT place to start! Any of these cardio workouts will help you achieve your weight-loss goals quicker.

HIIT Workouts at Home

  • Any of our FfL at-home HIIT routines absolutely work wonders! Each one incorporates various forms of cardio and is designed to maximize your weight loss by burning the most calories in the shortest period of time. Explore all our HIIT workouts HERE.

Running Workout (each set is 6 minutes)

  • Warm up with a 2-5 minute brisk walk or jog. As you get closer to 5 minutes, your heart rate should be slightly elevated.
  • Fat Blasting Zone: For the next 6 minutes, alternate bursts of running as fast as you can for 30 seconds followed by a slower recovery jog for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 1-3 times.

Elliptical/Treadmill Workout (10-40 minutes)

  • Warm up with a 2-5 minute brisk walk or jog. As you get closer to 5 minutes, your heart rate should be slightly elevated.
  • Set incline and resistance to a moderate level. When on an elliptical, I set my incline to 10 and my resistance to 8.
  • If you’re new to cardio, complete set one only. When you begin to build more endurance, add additional sets.
  • Approximate length for all three sets total is 40 minutes.
  • SET ONE: For the first two miles, alternate bursts of running as fast as you can for 20 seconds with a moderately paced recovery jog for 40 seconds.
  • SET TWO: For the third mile, alternate bursts of running as fast as you can for 25 seconds with a moderately paced recovery jog for 35 seconds.
  • SET THREE: For the fourth mile, alternate bursts of running as fast as you can for 30 seconds with a moderately paced recovery jog for 30 seconds.


Cheers to a healthy lifestyle and living FULLforLife!

xo, Pam & Kalie

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