All you need to complete a good cardio-vascular workout is a good pair of running shoes. Most cardio-vascular exercises require little or no third-party equipment to help you complete your routine. Running, dancing, walking can all be done without any equipment (well, if dancing, maybe some music will help). Other forms of cardio are steps, circuit training, biking, swimming, aerobics and more… With most exercises you should always remember to warm up first and cool down later. Jumping into full exercise without building up first will cause problems like stiffness and cramps. Ease yourself into it. Then after the exercise, the cool down is basically moving slowly to stretch and relax the muscles and joints, as your body returns to its normal range of motion. Running: The technology put into these shoes these days is highly researched and designed to reduce injuries to the feet, ankles, legs and back. So don’t discount them – you get what you pay for. Before you start your run, be sure to warm up first. Start with a brisk walk so you can swing your arms vigorously and gradually build up to a slow walk. It’s best to run at a pace where you can still hold a conversation. If you find yourself out of breath, slow down until you recover. Now increase the length and time of your run by a few minutes as you hit the road or treadmill, until you can stop and run for 30 minutes. Try to increase your run time by 10% each week, remember not to overdo it and remember to warm up at the end of each stretch. When your run is complete, stretch your legs for 30 seconds each, hamstrings, calves, and thighs. Cycling: Cycling is one of the best ways to get a good cardio-vascular workout. First, safety is paramount if you are riding a road bike, always use proper safety equipment while riding on the road. You can stay fit by biking to work, most people work within a five mile radius of their place of work, which is a perfect distance for a bike ride. Exercise bikes can be used in a variety of ways, from casual riding for a period of time, to road riding and bike riding without the danger of weather. Warm Up Riding You can use an exercise bike to warm up your legs before a leg workout. Also exercise bike classes, these classes are led by an instructor, who will take you through different levels of motion, much like a circuit training exercise with a bike. You may be surprised to find that cycling 5 miles 3 times per week will improve your heart rate, your posture, skin and weight control. Swimming: One of the best ways to tone and trim your body. Swimming engages all major muscle groups due to the water’s resistance on the body, which allows the body to burn 20% more calories than swimming in air. A few laps of swimming every day will keep you fit and give you a great workout. Swimming also puts less impact on the joints than, say, running. If you want to push your swimming a bit further, try increasing your swimming speed, you can do a great aerobic exercise and give your body a great workout. Start swimming 1-2 lengths at a time, resting between sets if needed, call it after you swim ten lengths for the day. Repeat the process the next day until you can swim five lengths without a break. Progress to ten lengths by adding an additional length each time you return. You can put together your own cardio training routine at the gym, if you have trouble with it the staff on hand will write one for you and show you how to achieve your goals. Try to keep your cardio between an hour and an hour and a half. A good starting point for cardio is always a run. This cardio workout will work for a person of moderate fitness, but adjust the time and pace according to your fitness level. 1. Jog at a light pace for 20 minutes, starting at a walking pace and gradually jogging, this helps you warm up and get the blood pumping. 2. Rowing Machine- Set the rowing machine for a 15 minute countdown time or keep an eye on your watch or watch. Start with a slow rowing motion to build up speed, maintain this steady pace throughout the 13 minutes, and use 2 minutes to slow down. 3. Immediately proceed to the exercise bike Ride at a steady pace for 12 minutes with a sprint finish for the remaining 3 minutes. 4. After the exercise bike, move directly to the step climber for 15 minutes of easy climbing. Try to pace yourself for the full 15 minutes as this is the last leg work you do. 5. When you’re done with the step climber, head over to the abs bench for some crunches. 4 sets of crunches to failure is your goal for this exercise. Try to twist your body and touch your left knee with your right elbow and vice versa. 6. Bring your knees to your chest for 3-4 sets of as many repetitions as possible (failure). After completing this cardio workout, be sure to warm down thoroughly by stretching the muscles. The entire workout should take you about 1 hour 20 minutes.