There is a huge variety of cardiovascular exercise activities you can perform using the WLC System.
It's actually better to do different activities so your body never adapts to a particular exercise.
If you do your cardio on machines you should at least alternate between two different cardio machines. An exercise bike and an elliptical machine could be a good choice.
Switching between activities does not affect your ability to measure your progress from a common reference point if you have a heart rate watch.
Your heart rate watch will count calories burned to ensure that you are working just as hard when doing another activity.
Again, this is another reason I highly recommend a heart rate watch.
Let's take a look at the different activities you can perform. Any cardiovascular activity you perform the majority of the time on this program must be rhythmic. For example, basketball, football, and soccer are forms of HIIT and should not be used most of the time.
But I do want you to use them some of the time!
It's perfectly fine to throw in a HIIT session every now and then, but medium intensity cardio should be your focus. You'll burn more fat this way and get better results.
If you already have lower levels of body fat, then it's time to do whatever you want for cardio activities. Use medium intensity cardio more often until you get to that point, though!
Approved Steady-State Activities for Medium Intensity Cardio
You will find several approved cardiovascular activities in the list below.
If you know of an activity that is rhythmic in nature and not on this list, feel free to use that activity for your cardio sessions.
I'm sure I've missed some activities…
Rowing is one of the best activities you can perform because it's a great full body workout. You have to use your entire body in the movement.
Beginners may have trouble because this exercise can wear you down quickly because it uses so many muscles throughout your body.
An elliptical machine is one of my favorites because you use your entire body in this movement. I've used an elliptical in many successful fat loss cycles.
Beginners will have no trouble using this machine.
I highly recommend low impact activities because they are safe for your joints and the elliptical machine is definitely low impact.
Jogging/Running on Treadmill
Jogging and/or running is a great cardiovascular activity for those of you who are past the beginner stage.
Some beginners, including overweight people, will have trouble running or jogging. It's just too much for some beginners — high impact.
You can slowly work yourself up to jogging and then running. I personally never jog or run for cardio because it's a high impact activity. I like low impact exercise to keep joint problems away.
Heavier people should stick with low impact activities to keep joints safe.
Incline Walking on Treadmill
Incline walking on a treadmill is one of the best cardio activities you can do. Most treadmills go to a steep incline that simulates walking up a steep hill.
This can really hit your calves pretty hard too — a great calf workout.
Incline walking is perfect for beginners to advanced. Start at a low incline and increase as you get better.
This is actually one of my favorite cardio activities.
A stairclimber machine is another great machine to use for your cardio sessions. This is a low impact machine.
Actual stairclimbing is a higher impact activity, so I really enjoy the machine much better than actual stair climbing. A stairclimber is great for beginner to advanced.
This is a favorite of many elite level bodybuilders.
Stairclimbers burn tons of calories. There's only one drawback to them, though. They are very expensive. If you go to a commercial gym, try out their stair stepper.
Stationary Exercise Bike
I really enjoy a stationary exercise bike. You can actually do some other things like work on a computer or play video games because your hands are free.
This is also a low impact activity.
There is a disadvantage to the stationary bike, though, because your upper body doesn't get much movement at all in this exercise. You will have to really get your lower body moving to burn those calories.
Increase resistance as needed to reach your target heart rate zone.
Stationary Recumbent Bike
Any stationary biking activity is low impact, which makes it a great cardio activity in my opinion.
You don't want to put more stress on your body with high impact cardio activities all the time.
The recumbent bike even supports your lower back unlike the upright exercise bike. Your hands are free during this exercise too so the upper body doesn't get worked during this exercise.
This simply means that you usually have to pedal hard to burn as many calories compared to activities that use the entire body.
Walking is a great cardiovascular exercise for beginners. Others will have trouble reaching the target heart rate zones for medium intensity cardio because walking is low intensity.
If your cardiovascular capacity is low, you should start your cardio program with walking and then move on to other activities.
You can also start with machines that allow you to go at a slow pace.
Most people will not be able to use regular walking as an activity for this program simply because your heart rate isn't elevated to the medium intensity level while walking.
Jogging and Running are great for burning calories, and it's great to take a jog outdoors in a park or around your neighborhood. Take your dog with you.
Jogging and running are high impact activities, and it's tough on people who are above average in the body weight department — even if most of that weight is muscle.
For example, I've been up to 240 pounds and 13% body fat, and running sure does bother my knees unlike low impact cardio activities.
I would definitely alternate between running and a low impact activity if you choose to run/jog for your cardio program.
Roller blading is fun. Add some fun to your cardio, but be careful wherever you plan to skate.
Remember, you need to do this activity continuously for the duration of the session.
Roller blading reminds me of the skiing movement somewhat, and gets the heart rate going very well.
Jump rope as a cardiovascular activity is not for the beginner. Jumping rope can really get the heart rate going and sometimes too much.
You want to stay within the medium intensity range, so monitor your heart rate when performing this exercise.
Jumping rope is great exercise but is more advanced than most of the cardio exercises on this page.
Biking outdoors can be lots of fun, but it's sometimes tough to control your heart rate due to the uncontrollable terrain.
If you can bike in an area that doesn't have huge hills, that would be the best.
You can still bike up and down hills, but this is more a form of HIIT because of the changing intensity levels. Flat roads are much better for medium intensity cycling.
Outdoor biking in hilly areas is definitely not for beginners.
Here's what I did. I bought a Schwinn road bike and a bicycle trainer. You can attach the bike to your trainer for indoor sessions and quickly detach the bike from the trainer if you want to go riding outdoors.
Beginners beware. Climbing stairs can really push the heart rate higher and higher.
Take it easy and start out slow. Monitor your heart rate and keep it within your target heart rate zones.
Cross country skiing is something I've never done myself, but it looks like lots of fun.
I would very much like to try it some day. Give it a shot if you have a chance.
Enjoy the cooler weather, the clean air, and burn some fat along the way.
Last, but certainly not least, is swimming. Swimming is an awesome cardiovascular activity because there is no impact at all to any part of your body.
If you have lower body injuries that are bothering you, swimming can be the activity you need to help those injuries heal yet give you the fat burning activity you need.
Many commercial gyms now have indoor swimming pools.
You'll Know As Your Cardiovascular System Gets Better
As you get better at cardiovascular exercise, it will be tougher to keep your heart rate up…
That's a great sign.
Then, you can begin to do harder activities such as stair climbing and cycling in hilly areas.
As you get better at cardio, body fat will be gone, you'll feel amazing, and your body and health will be very much improved.
Below, I wanted to give you a few other cardiovascular exercise activities you can use once you are more advanced.
Some Unusual Cardiovascular Activities — Advanced Level
I also wanted to take this page on cardiovascular exercise activities to a more advanced level as you'll soon be there.
The WLC System helps you get to the more advanced levels faster than anything else out there.
So here you go:
Body Weight Exercises
Once you get stronger in the gym, you can begin doing body weight exercises for cardio workouts.
For example, you can string together a group of body weight exercises like burpees, squats, push ups, pull ups, dips, lunges, and other body weight exercises for an awesome cardio workout.
Remember, this is for advanced trainers.
Sled Pulling, Pushing, and Dragging
You can purchase sleds where you can add weight and use a harness to pull the sled around outside your home.
I actually bought one from a buyer on eBay. But, I also use a tire and just add weight to it. I pull that in my unfinished basement.
Some sleds have two posts attached where you can push the sled too.
You can also attach a handle to the sled and pull the sled while you walk backwards. Sled exercises are very, very good exercises and great for your legs.
Sled exercises are one of my favorites — works great for burning fat fast.
Put some heavy weights in a wheelbarrow and push it around your yard or up and down your street.
A great full body exercise that burns a ton of calories.
This cardio exercise is also great for people who have bad knees. This really helps them feel better depending on the reasons for your bad knees.
Carrying Heavy Weights Around
You can carry dumbbells, sandbags, or anything heavy around your yard.
This can be a great full body exercise. It's pretty fun too … your neighbors might think you're a little weird but that's okay.