I want to live long, healthy and active. And maintaining a good aerobic fitness is key to this happening.
Steady State Cardio is key to achieving this. Work for an extended duration at moderate intensity (Upper Side of Zone 2) this is sweet spot for aerobic health benefits. Majority of the cardio should be at this intensity.
Here are the benefits of Steady State Cardio
- 1) Health and Longevity – The aerobic energy system supports life. Aerobic fitness is a strong predictor of longevity, quality of your life and length of your life.
- 2) Supports Strength and muscle building – With a better aerobic system recovery between sets will be faster. This adds significantly greater work capacity and therefor more gains
- 3) Recover Faster – Recovery is faster when you have powerful heart, great capillary density. You will recover faster after a workout and also in between sets
- 4) Cardio performed at Zone 2 utilizes fat for fuel. This is the body’s preferred fuel source when aerobic system can meet the demands of exercise
- 5) Vitality – You can expect better quality of sleep, greater sustained energy throughout the day.
It feels good to be fit.
Explaining Zone 2
Zone 2 is defined as the highest metabolic output/work that you can sustain while keeping hour lactate level below 2 mmol/L. A healthy person when at rest has a lactate level of 1.0 mmol/L. Usually doing your daily chores should not increase this.But doing a little strenuous workout you are going to start making lactate. Even the best athlete in the world will. The fitter the person is the more work they can do with less lactate. Zone 2 is the level where you can understand how metabolically fit you are
The easiest way to know your zone 2 range is first calculate your max Heart rate. MHR is approx 220- your age. So for me its 220-55 = 165. Know your resting heart rate. If you have a smart watch u will know or else just count your pulse every morning for ten days and do an average.
My RHR is 50. Calculate your reserve HR which will be MHR – RHR. So for me 165 – 50 = 115. My Zone 2 will be 50-75% of Heart rate reserve i.e. 58 to 81(rounding off) plus RHR which is 50. So range becomes 108 to 131 bpm. This is where Fat burning happens.
How much to do for max benefits?
Each Session should be 30 minutes minimum for max results. Preferably 3 sessions a week. Keep your Hear rate within Zone 2 range steady throughout the duration. Keep increase your wattage as your aerobic strength increases
Here is one of my workouts as example.