Anytime you are exercising and your heart rate is increasing, you are working on your cardiovascular fitness! The possibilities are endless and are not just limited to running a marathon or being an olympic sprinter. Our recommendation is to attempt to exercise around your target heart rate while gradually increasing the duration according to level of fitness, whatever activity it is that you are doing. We do not want to overcomplicate things for you, we just want you to get your body MOVING. Below are just a few ideas. Enjoy!

Walking

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 30 minutes (beginner), 45 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 60+ minutes (very fit)

Example walking program with end goal of walking 5 miles a day:

Week 1: Days 1-5 attempt to walk up to three miles by day 5. Go at whatever pace is comfortable for you while paying attention to target heart rate. Track your miles with a fit-bit, pedometer, cell phone app or electronic watch.

Week 2: Each day, walk up to 3 1/2 miles. Use light weight dumbbells while you walk or two cans of soup to add an extra strength challenge.

Week 3: Walk 4 miles each day. Try walking up stairs or hills to add some variety to your walks and increase strength.

Week 4: Walk 4 1/2 miles each day. Take a break in the middle to do some body weight exercises if you feel up for it (see below examples).

Week 5: Walk 5 miles each day. Continue at this pace as long as you can. Examples of ways to increase steps may be parking further in the parking lot at the grocery store, walking during your lunch break, walking to work, etc.

Body Weight Exercise

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 20 minutes (beginner), 30 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 60+ minutes (very fit)

This could be categorized under "strength", but is definitely a cardiovascular workout in itself. Here is an example body weight exercise:

Air squats, Pull-ups, Wall sit, Push-ups, Mountain climbers, Single leg deadlift, Side plank, Knee tucks, Burpees, Step-up, Bridge, Lunges, Plank, Calf raise, Triceps dip

Pick 4 or 5 from this list, break them into sets of 10 until you reach 30 minutes of exercise. Every 5 minutes, work in some type of core exercise for 2 or 3 minutes to work abdominal muscles.

Running

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 10 minutes (beginner), 20 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 45+ minutes (very fit)

Swimming

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 20 minutes (beginner), 30 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 60+ minutes (very fit)

Biking

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 30 minutes (beginner), 45 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 60+ minutes (very fit)

Hiking

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 20 minutes (beginner), 30 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 60+ minutes (very fit)

Yardwork, Fence-post digging

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 30 minutes (beginner), 45 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 60+ minutes (very fit)

Kayaking

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 30 minutes (beginner), 45 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 60+ minutes (very fit)

Elliptical

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 20 minutes (beginner), 30 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 45+ minutes (very fit)

Stair-climber

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 10 minutes (beginner), 20 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 30+ minutes (very fit)

Recreational sports (tennis, basketball, golf, softball, baseball, volleyball, etc.)

Target heart rate by age: 145-160 bpm (young), 130-144 bpm (mid), 110-128 bpm (old)

Example duration of exercise: 20 minutes (beginner), 30 minutes (if exercising more than a month), 60+ minutes (very fit)