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Cardio Plus

Do you think you have to head for the treadmill, weight room or a kickboxing class to get calorie-burning, body-strengthening, energizing exercise? Well, working out is an important part of looking and feeling your best, but this cardio program will help you reap all of those rewards inside and outside of the gym.

Your mission will be to stay in motion: In addition to doing the strength program 30-Day Total Body Makeover."

THE RATE OF PERCEIVED EXERTION

Use the RPE scale to estimate the intensity of your workout session. Here's how it breaks down:

RPE Intensity Level

3-4 Easy to moderate; you should be able to maintain this level and carry on a conversation with minimal effort.

5-6 Moderate; you can maintain this level and have a conversation with some effort.

7-8 Difficult; maintaining this level and having a conversation requires quite a bit of effort.

8-9 Peak effort; you won't be able to maintain this level for more than 3-4 minutes; no-talking zone.

CARDIO CALENDAR

April 1: LIFESTYLE

April 2: BASE BUILDER

April 3: LIFESTYLE

April 4: OFF

April 5: BASE BUILDER

April 6: LIFESTYLE

April 7: LIFESTYLE

April 8: ENDURANCE BOOSTER

April 9: LIFESTYLE

April 10: BASE BUILDER

April 11: LIFESTYLE

April 12: OFF

April 13: BASE BUILDER

April 14: LIFESTYLE

April 15: POWER BLASTER

April 16: LIFESTYLE

April 17: BASE BUILDER

April 18: OFF

April 19: LIFESTYLE

April 20: ENDURANCE BOOSTER

April 21: LIFESTYLE

April 22: BASE BUILDER

April 23: LIFESTYLE

April 24: POWER BLASTER

April 25: LIFESTYLE

April 26: OFF

April 27: BASE BUILDER

April 28: LIFESTYLE

April 29: ENDURANCE BOOSTER

April 30: LIFESTYLE

WORKOUT KEY

FITNESS BASE BUILDER

Today you'll burn lots of calories doing steady-state work to establish or build your aerobic fitness base. Perform 35-45 minutes of continuous activity at RPE 5-6 (see "The Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)" chart on previous page for explanation of RPE levels). Wells suggests running or walking outdoors, swimming or working out on cardio equipment (set machines on manual and adjust to the appropriate intensity). Total calories burned: 300-385 (Calorie estimates are based on a 140-pound woman.)

ENDURANCE BOOSTER

Today, you'll do long intervals of higher-intensity work, improving your ability to sustain a more-difficult running pace or exercise level, so you can burn more calories in your workouts with less effort. Do 1 10-minute interval at RPE 7-8, 1 minute of "working" recovery (meaning it's still a challenge) at RPE 4-5, and a final 10-minute interval at RPE 7-8, for a total workout time of 21 minutes. "Find a continuous walking path or a track for this workout," Wells recommends. "Indoors, any cardio machine is suitable." (Set on manual so you can adjust your intensity.) Total calories burned: 270

POWER BLASTER

Today, you'll alternate equal bursts of higher- and lower-intensity work, improving your muscular strength and cardio endurance (max VO2). This will help you feel stronger and less fatigued as you work out, so you can burn even more calories with greater ease. (Say goodbye to lead legs!) Perform 2- to 4-minute intervals at RPE 8-9, alternating with a "working" recovery of the same length at RPE 4-5 until you've completed a total workout time of 30 minutes. Wells recommends hills, stairs and sprints, or a cardio machine (set on manual so you can adjust your intensity) for training this system. Total calories burned: 340

LIFESTYLE

On these days, you'll get all of your exercise in the form of lifestyle activities, striving to complete at least 10,000 steps per day. No, you don't have to count every step! Here are a few ways you can keep track:

1. Purchase a pedometer that will count your steps. We recommend the Digiwalker SW-200-024 by New Lifestyles ($27 at digiwalker.com or 888-748-5377), which counts steps only, or the Health Watch Pulse/Calorie Pedometer by Health Watch Inc. ($60 at healthwatchus.com or 631-345-6587), which measures your exact step length, calories burned, heart rate and more.

2. Keep a logbook of your activity. Every time you perform 5 minutes of activity (see "Calorie-Burning Lifestyle Ideas" below for suggestions), give yourself a point. Aim to get about 20 points in your log every day that you see S on the Cardio Calendar, and that should add up to about 10,000 steps in one day (5 minutes of activity or 1 point equals approximately 500-600 steps).

3. Do 30 minutes of activity at RPE 5-6 -- perhaps take a brisk, 10-minute walk in the morning, another at lunchtime and a third in the evening (do this as a last resort; your goal should be to get your movement throughout the entire day). Total calories burned: 275

CALORIE BURNING LIFESTYLE IDEAS

- Take the stairs instead of the elevator wherever possible.

- Walk to a co-worker's office rather than using e-mail or the phone.

- Print your documents on the farthest printer at the office rather than the nearest one.

- Set an hourly alarm, reminding you to get up and move around.

- Arrange your home or office for movement rather than for convenience (i.e., put things that you use often in locations that aren't near each other).

- Use a bathroom upstairs instead of the one on your floor.

- Park farther away when going to the mall or to work.

- Avoid the drive-through; walk in instead.

- Leave the remote on top of the TV.

- Vacuum, dust and sweep the house and patio.

- Do your own gardening.

 

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