Your Perfect Week of Cardio Workouts

Research proves this mix hits the calorie-sizzling sweet spot.

Day 1

Do your fave cardio (swim, bike, run, Spin) for 45 to 60 minutes at a level 3 or 4. (On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 is the effort it takes to ride the bus and 10 is the effort it takes to throw the bus in the air.)

Workout Type: LSD

More: 10 Quick Cardio Moves

Day 2

Give it your all! Aim for a level 8 or 9—that point at which you hate every second—for 30 seconds. Back off to a level 4 for 60 seconds to catch your breath. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

Workout Type: HIIT

Day 3

Just as on day 1, stay at level 3 or 4 for 45 to 60 minutes. Go for a quick-clip walk, or think outside of the blah-blah cardio box—take a fun class like Hoopnotica (hula hooping!) or grab your honey and salsa.

Workout Type: LSD

More: Benefits of an Indoor Fitness Class

Day 4

Ahhh, a day off! Kick up your heels and let your muscles recover and repair. You're also allowing your body to replenish its all-important sugar stores (energy), so you're fueled up for tomorrow. Rest

Day 5

Think of this workout like doing a 5K and gunning for your fastest time. Aim for a level 5 to 7, and stick it out for 20 to 30 minutes. Put on your sneaks and run or get your cycle on.

Workout Type: Tempo

Day 6

By now, you know the drill: Do 45 to 60 minutes at level 3 or 4. Tell your bestie to meet you for a jog, or take your pooch for a speedy walk. Biking to the farmers' market counts, too!

Workout Type: LSD

Day 7

Push it, push it, push it! Hit it hard (level 8 or 9) for 30 seconds. Relax at an easy pace (level 3 or 4) for 60 seconds before you go, go, go! Repeat 10 to 20 times.

Workout Type: HIIT

More: What is Interval Weight Training?

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About the Author

SELF gives you great advice on being healthy, happy, slimmer, fitter and less stressed.

SELF gives you great advice on being healthy, happy, slimmer, fitter and less stressed.

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