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What Is the "Right" Amount of Cardio?

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 120

If there was ever a loaded question in the fitness world, this would be it. One of the reasons people ask this question is because cardio is work; sometimes very hard work. Also cardio can be tedious especially when at the gym plodding away on a machine while watching something on TV to take your mind off how little time has passed.

So before we answer the big questions we need to look at a few smaller questions.

What is Your Fitness Goal?

Are you looking to just get tone? Maybe you need to drop a few pounds? Or perhaps you are looking at shedding as much weight as possible. The bigger the goal, typically the more work you are going to need to put in over a longer period. A lot of standard scales are based on an "average-sized" person. If you are larger than you can expect to exercise a bit longer. A smaller person will need to exercise slightly less.

How Much Are You Eating?

Any extra calories taken in over what you burn each day naturally needs to then be burned before you get to deal with extra weight. Now this statement isn't exactly correct from a purely scientific standpoint, but the general point stands. If you burn 2500 calories from daily activities and eat 3000 calories then you are going to need to burn more than 500 calories from doing cardio just to get past even.

The Basic Formula

To burn off 1 pound of fat in a week you need to burn off an extra 500 calories per day (3500 calories total) for an average-sized adult. While you might not be able to do cardio every day, your goal of 3500 calories per week can be reached over 3 to 4 sessions. Ideally it has been deemed unhealthy to lose more than 1 to 2 pounds of fat per week (depending on current size) from exercise alone.

Higher intensity exercise burns more calories. But if your body isn't ready for that then you can still burn the same calories over a longer period at a slower pace.

The Right Amount?

Now that you have more information, this is something you need to figure out for yourself based on your own personal goals. If you decide that you want to drop 10 pounds by summer then you can do the math to determine if 1 pound or a half a pound per week is acceptable. Then it is a simple matter of jumping on the treadmill or exercise bike (or doing whatever type of exercise you like) and figuring out how much effort it will take to burn that number of calories per session. For those who aren't in the gym, purchasing a device to help count steps (for walkers) or track distance and time (for runners and bikers) is vital to help accurately count calories burned.

But if being that specific isn't a big deal you can consult general tables that show average calories burned during an activity over 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

Ben Sanderson is an author for Nutribomb Bodybuilding Supplements where we strive to provide you with the best supplement information on the internet.

Source: EzineArticles
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