2. Assess your fitness level. On the first day out, try the stair machine for 10 minutes. How do you feel after 10 minutes of medium intensity climbing? If you’re already breathing heavily, start your cardio workout plan with low intensity walking for an hour a day at least three times a week. If it’s no problem, you can incorporate jogging, cycling and other higher intensity exercises.
3. Talk to a personal trainer if you can. These trained professionals specialize in creating workout plans to help people meet their personal fitness goals.
4. Join a gym. If you can afford the monthly membership, joining a gym will help you stick to your cardio workout plan.
5. Try different classes. One of the main reasons cardio workout plans fail is boredom. You want to find workouts you enjoy and vary them from time to time to prevent boredom. If you get bored on a treadmill, try a cardio kickboxing class, a jazzercize class or spinning.
6. Create a schedule. Setting aside a regular time for your cardio workout will help you stick to the plan.
7. Stretch before you start. A good guideline is to hold each stretch for about 10 seconds. Repeat the same stretch, trying to go just a little bit farther the second time. Stretching helps prevent injuries.
8. Maintain your cardiovascular training heart rate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
9. Cool down for at least 5 minutes at the end of your cardio workout. Don’t just stop at the peak of your workout and go home. Your heart needs to cool down slowly to avoid stress.
10. Repeat stretches at the end of the workout. This can minimize lactic acid build up and will reduce soreness.