Women's Heart Health

Melt Pounds With Mix-and-Match Cardio Routines

Mix and match the workouts below for a total of five to six cardio sessions a week. The mix of routines will help your body burn fat more efficiently and build endurance. Combined with our strength workout, you'll see pounds melt away!

In each cardio workout, you want to move among four zones that represent how much effort youre putting in. Heres how to tell which zone youre in.

Zone 1 = Easy
Zone 2 = Challenging but comfortable (youre breathing
hard but could still hold a conversation)
Zone 3 = Challenging and uncomfortable (youre breathing hard, difficult to hold a conversation)
Zone 4 = Breathless, really hard!

New-mom modification: If youre a new mom (or are very out of shape), keep your intensity easy to moderate. Avoid Zone 4 until youre three to four months postpartum.

Intense Interval Bursts (30 minutes)
Do this while walking outside on a long, steep hill or on the stairs, treadmill, or elliptical trainer.
1. Warm up with 2 minutes in Zone 1, then 3 minutes in Zone 2
2. Uphill, 1 minute in Zone 4
3. Downhill, 1 minute in Zone 2
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 nine more times
5. Cool down with 5 minutes in Zone 1

Middle-Ground Mix-It-Up (40 minutes)
Do it as a walk or run outdoors or on the treadmill, bike, stairs, or elliptical trainer.
1. Warm up for 5 minutes in Zone 1
2. Spend 8 minutes in Zone 3
3. Do 2 minutes in Zone 2
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 two more times
5. Cool down with 5 minutes in Zone 1

Long, Strong, and Steady (60 minutes)
Bike, hike, walk, or skate outside, or mix it up at the gym by choosing three cardio machines and doing 20 minutes on each.
1. Warm up for 5 minutes in Zone 1
2. Work out 45–50 minutes in Zone 2
3. Cool down for 5 minutes in Zone 1

Get started in two easy steps:



1. Click here to download the FGW plan (PDF format)



2. Click here to join the FGW social network