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How intense should my aerobic workouts be?

That is wholly dependent on your cardio condition you can figure that out by contacting a personal trainer and having them conduct a cardio assessment. The three easiest and most prolific tests are the YMCA step test, Queens college step test and the Rockport 2 mile walk test. Based of your score in one of these assessments a trainer will get a pretty good idea of where you should start and what your cardio needs are.

How intense your workouts should be depends on your goals, and current fitness level. If you’re new to aerobic exercise you should start with low intensity aerobic workouts to reduce the risk of injury as your fitness levels improve. After 4-6 weeks of training you can increase to moderate intensity workouts as your fitness improves. After another 4-6 weeks you can increase to high intensity aerobic workouts. High intensity aerobic exercise can produce high levels of fitness, but can also increase your risk of injury, so experts recommend varying between high intensity and moderate intensity exercise to help reduce your risk of injury.

Researchers recommend working out at 55 percent to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate, depending on your age and health. However, where you fall within that range should vary from day to day or week to week. To vary the intensity, add intervals -- short bursts of increased intensity -- during your workout. For example, add two or three minutes of running or jogging in the middle of your walks. Or while bicycling, power up a hill. This will help you build endurance and burn more calories.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.