How often should I perform cardio endurance activities?

Wendy Batts
Depending on your goal, you can perform cardio endurance activities up to 5-6 days per week. When you are first beginning a cardio program it should be a gradual process. Try starting out performing cardio endurance activities like cycling, jogging, swimming or hiking 2-3 times a week for at least 10-20 minutes each time and then work your way up until you can maintain 30-45 minutes. From there, increase the amount of activities you do each week until you are up to 5-6 times a week. To keep from burning out or becoming bored, try switching up your cardio activities, challenging yourself to perform the activity longer, or pushing yourself to increase your speed. Just remember not to overdo it or push yourself too hard. Allow your body to rest to avoid overuse injuries and keep your body performing optimally.

If you are performing cardiorespiratory training to meet general health activity recommendations, then you should complete 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity five to seven days per week. Moderate aerobic activity is any activity to increase your heart rate while still being able to hold a conversation (such as a brisk walk). Because the intensity level is low for general health recommendations, it makes it so that you can perform cardio every single day of the week, if desired, because there is less of a need for recovery. If your cardio training regimen is for the intention of improved fitness and performance, then it is recommended that you train three to five days per week for 20 - 60 minutes each day at higher intensities. Improved fitness and performance recommendations involve intervals of greater intensity levels (up to 90% of heart rate max) and therefore require more rest in between training sessions for adequate recovery.

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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.