There are multiple reasons for a cardiovascular exercise conditioning regimen. One may engage in cardio to improve their circulatory system. Others might do so for specific sports conditioning, while others might seek to challenge themselves in a healthy way. Over the course of my 29-year career in the nutrition and fitness industry (29 years this June), the primary reason of interest in cardio that I found most people desired had to do with fat burning, or to increase their body’s ability to burn fat efficiently. I found that most people had an approach to cardio that could be considered overtraining. It was the “more is better” approach that led them to overdo it with their cardiovascular training. It’s understandable if one is training for a marathon or an Ironman competition, but for entering a fat-burning zone, a more steady, low-impact approach is all that is necessary. Depending on the individual, I recommend 30 to 45 minutes maximum, keeping the heart rate at 125-130. While endurance exercise can be impressive, it’s not necessary for creating the desired results of fat burning and basic conditioning.

Less Wear and Tear on Body

Low-impact cardio such as cycling or elliptical movements are very effective when performed consistently several days per week at the steady heart rate of 125-130. One of the most important benefits of low-impact cardio is less “wear and tear” on joints, tendons, ligaments and organs. Running is exhilarating, yet can create damage to joints such as hips, knees and ankles over prolonged amounts of time. The pounding, especially when running on pavement, can wear down cartilage and can even damage the disks in between our vertebrae. Running requires great conditioning, and even the most conditioned can suffer a setback. High-intensity workouts are challenging as well, but also require great conditioning and concentration as lack of form can often create the environment for injury. By performing low-impact cardio, one can exercise frequently without injury, without setbacks, and without the taxing structural damage that can cause misalignment and future problems. Low-impact cardio provides us with the ability to be fit and conditioned with longevity. And, personally, longevity is the name of the game when it comes to being fit and healthy. If one is doing impactful damage to their body, the aftereffects will be felt in time, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. I personally enjoy being fit and not having aches and pains and setbacks. I weight train six days per week, and I perform low-impact cardio (mostly cycling) seven days per week. I’m consistent, conditioned, have great lung capacity, excellent circulation, and a low body fat percentage. I attribute it to my training and my nutrition.

Woman Exercising on Elliptical Cross Trainer

Low-Impact Cardio Options

Some great low-impact cardio options are indoor cycling, outdoor cycling, elliptical movements, brisk walking, and shadow boxing. Just remember to hydrate each and every day, keep your time frame within 30 to 45 minutes, and your heart rate at 125-130. Five days is an optimum amount for cardiovascular exercise, but beginners may start off with fewer days and gradually increase. You’ll find that you’ll feel your body heat up, you’ll break a sweat, and your ability to burn fat will be increased as you perform low-impact cardio. Most of all you will appreciate the injury-free results!

If you’re seeking improved health and the path to longevity, feel free to contact me at 631-444-5045 or visit for individualized meal plans, independent training regimens, and virtual training by appointment.