Steps to Moderate Cardio

· 22nd March 2019
By controlling your heart beats per minute and doing exercises that are known as moderate cardio, you'll be able to burn excess body fat. How will these routines affect you and how should you plan them?

Certain activities such as rowing, skating, riding your bike, jogging, and swimming, among others, allow you to increase your heart rate. Moderate cardio is ideal for burning the fat that your body has accumulated.

This type of physical activity is known as moderate because your heart will beat around 50 to 70 percent of its maximum rate or at its high-intensity rate (70 to 90 percent). This heart rate could be adequate for many athletes.

When we work out at an adequate rhythm, fat stored in our body will be the energy to fuel it. This happens at a rate of 9 Kcal per gram of fat.

In general, the energy source is in the glycogen in our muscles. If these levels are low, the body will use the stored fat for its activities, this in principle, would produce weight loss, but within boundaries and due precautions.

Two steps to moderate cardio

1. Calculate your own heart rate

There’s a basic formula to calculate your own heart rate. This is obtained by subtracting your age from the maximum heart rate per minute (220). According to this formula, a 40-year-old would calculate the following: Maximum HR 220 – 40 = 180 (BPM).

What is the heart rate for a moderate cardio session? Simply multiply the BPM times 0.6 or 0.7, which is 60 or 70 percent of the maximum heart rate. If you use 60%, this person should exercise at 108 BPM in order to burn fat.

A different BPM for each person

In any case, this is an oversimplified calculation. Ideally, all physical and biological traits of a person should be taken into account. Weight is fundamental, even if someone who weighs 100 kilos has the same age as someone who weighs 50 kilos, they will not need the same routine. Likewise, a man’s BPM will not be the same as a woman’s even if they are the same age.

A good idea to help you start with moderate cardio is to buy your own heart rate monitor. Although some treadmills and elliptical trainers are capable of reading your heart rate, having your own heart rate monitor will be helpful when training in the park or at home. 

cardio workout

More specific formulas for men and women:

  • Women: MaxHR=((210 -(0.5 x age)) – (20% of weight) + 4
  • Men: MaxHR=((210 – (0.5 x age)) – (20% of weight)

Anyway, the differences in our formulas continue. It will not be the same for someone who is sedentary as for someone who has an active lifestyle.

To be more precise, the individual must record his heart rate as soon as he wakes up for several days. This number is the heart rate at rest. The BPM for moderate cardio will be determined as follows:

HR%= (MaxHR – RestHR) x Moderate cardio rate % + RestHR

Take the maximum heart rate calculated in our first formula (220 – age), then subtract Rest Heart Rate (RestHR). Multiply the result by the percentage of the cardio type to do (50 to 70 percent), and then add the RestHR again.

The information obtained through these calculations is precise when working out exactly at the rhythm of each body, age and gender. It’s definitely about knowing the individual parameters to establish a personalized workout in each case.

2. Choosing the right time to work out

Given that those who practice moderate cardio do it mainly to burn fat or improve their figure, knowing how and when to exercise will increase their basal metabolic rate (BMR) and lose weight faster. For example, if you choose to run, it’s useful to know that it’s ideal to run in the morning or after weight lifting.

girl running on the beach

The reason? Glycogen levels in the muscles are at their lowest levels which favors burning fat during moderate cardio workouts. It’s important to know that if a workout exceeds 40 minutes duration, glycogen will decrease in excess and muscular amino acids will be used as fuel.

In conclusion, analyze these two steps: calculate your BPM and know when to do your 40 minutes of moderate cardio. This means that successful results are guaranteed.

Based on this information, anyone can design a routine that combines their favorite exercises, vary intensity and take maximum advantage of their energy and body fat.

  • Van der Velde, J. H. P. M., Savelberg, H. H. C. M., Schaper, N. C., & Koster, A. (2015). Moderate activity and fitness, not sedentary time, Are independently associated with cardio-metabolic risk in U.S. adults aged 18–49. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120302330
  • Rank, M., Siegrist, M., Wilks, D. C., Langhof, H., Wolfarth, B., Haller, B., … Halle, M. (2013). The cardio-metabolic risk of moderate and severe obesity in children and adolescents. Journal of Pediatrics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.01.020
  • Rendo-Urteaga, T., De Moraes, A. C. F., Collese, T. S., Manios, Y., Hagströmer, M., Sjöström, M., … Moreno, L. A. (2015). The combined effect of physical activity and sedentary behaviors on a clustered cardio-metabolic risk score: The Helena study. International Journal of Cardiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.03.176
  • Maher, C., Olds, T., Mire, E., & Katzmarzyk, P. T. (2014). Reconsidering the sedentary behaviour paradigm. PLoS ONE. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0086403
  • Bas, P., Romagnoli, M., Gomez-Cabrera, M. C., Bas, J. L., Aura, J. V., Franco, N., & Bas, T. (2011). Beneficial effects of aerobic training in adolescent patients with moderate idiopathic scoliosis. European Spine Journal : Official Publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-011-1902-7