Perhaps sweating profusely on the treadmill is not your thing. Or, maybe it is. Regardless, you can use this framework to improve your cardiovascular health no matter your fitness level. The framework is from Bill Phillip's, Body for Life program. I used it for the fist time 17 years ago. It was my go to cardio workout as I listened to Billy Idol's, "White Wedding." It helped me lose the fat I wanted to lose and became the foundation for many of the cardiovascular training programs that I give to clients now.
I love it because it incorporates all elements of the FITT principle: Frequency, Intensity, Time & Type. These are the general factors that we adjust or manipulate in order to keep fitness levels up or modify for injury, sleepless nights or anything else you are bringing to your movement that day. It is all about you.
The first variable, frequency is about how often you work out-once a day, twice a day, once a week, or once a month. It is up to you. Determine your frequency by examining where you are now, what you want your cardiovascular health to be and then close the gap however it best suits you today.
Intensity has to do with your "perceived exertion," which I think is the best part. Perceived exertion is exactly as it sounds. It is your perception of the energy you are expending. On a scale of 0 to 10, zero is sleeping and 10 is working as hard as you possibly can. This is great because it forces you to figure out what your body's exertion is minute by minute-not what the cardiovascular machine says, but what YOUR machine (body) is saying! That is a form of mindfulness right there. And, it is right in the midst of your movement. It is like two for the price of one!
The time is very easily adjusted as well. The recommended time is 20 minutes-but you can easily reduce that in a systematic way because of the repeating patterns. Or, you can easily increase it as well. But, I have to say that even when I was in the best cardio shape of my life, this little 20 minute workout was plenty!
And, finally, the type of movement you are doing is also easy to change. You can go from a slow walk to speed walking to jogging to running and sprinting. Or, you can take a different movement (as I demonstrate) and easily change the type as you are increasing intensity.
The best part of this framework is that you can easily manipulate any of these factors to fit into YOUR current lifestyle, cardiovascular health and how you are feeling that day. There is no pressure to make a certain time or distance - it is just you and your body moving at your pace for the day.
This truly is a fantastic framework for all levels. Check it out and enJOY moving towards your best cardiovascular health!