Cardiovascular exercise training is one of the most effective ways to increase your calorie expenditure, which is essential for weight loss and long-term weight loss management.  When combined with resistance training, cardio can improve body composition and reduce your overall body fat percentage.   

Some type of cardio training is necessary in any program. The duration and intensity of the cardio training sessions should be dictated by several factors including calorie consumption, training goals, and aspirations. By paying close attention to intensity levels and duration you can reap the benefits of an intense session without wasting your day logging minutes or miles on the treadmill.   It is usually best to conduct a mix of cardio each week between LISS, MISS and HIIT combined with resistance training.

Use our calculator provided under calculators to figure out where your heart rate should be.
You can buy the Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor on Amazon for roughly $50 and sync it to the Polar BEAT app and wear this during cardio training.  The right heart rate monitor can tell you when you need to go harder and when you need to cut your workout back.  Around the 85% mark of your max heart rate most will enter into the anaerobic threshold which refers to the heart rate at which you no longer can bring in enough oxygen to support intensity and is tough to maintain for an extended period of time.  At your anaerobic threshold, you should be able to mutter 3-4 words before taking a breath, if you are able to carry on a conversation without trouble you need to increase the intensity.  See Perceived Exertion Chart, each number corresponds to the percentage below.  

Low Intensity Steady State Cardio (LISS) – 60-75% of your max heart rate = target heart rate zone

This is typically for people beginning their weight loss journey or that have health issues.

Medium Intensity Steady State Cardio (MISS) – 75-85% of your max heart rate = target heart rate zone

This is a good starting point for those that have been doing cardiovascular exercise and are ready to step it up.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – 85%-100% of your max heart rate = target heart rate zone  

HIIT is an advanced training technique in which you give all-out, 100% efforts through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods.  This type of exercise gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.

Example:  If you are new to cardio you may want to start in the 60-75% target heart rate zone range. In the calculator below under Heart Rate A enter in 60% and in Heart Rate B enter in 75%, then enter your age and resting heart rate (optional) and hit enter.  This will give your your range you need to ensure your heart rate stays in during your cardio session.  As a general rule strive for 30 minutes of cardio 3-4 times a week and maintain your target heart rate as long as you can for the duration.

Optimal cardio exercise will vary from person to person.  As a general rule, cardio is not recommended for those consuming less than 1,000 calories a day.  As your calorie consumption increases add in resistance training exercise first, then re-evaluate your cardiovascular activity by adding in 1 thirty minute session at a time.  It is very easy for bariatric patients to over-exercise and under-eat.  Warning symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, dryness of mouth, shaking, etc. could be a sign of this and you may need to back down on cardio and focus on resistance training.   

Use our calculator to calculate where your heart rate should be for these types of cardio sessions!

*Max Heart Rate is roughly 220 – Your Age