The recommended frequency of doing cardiovascular exercises is three times a week, with a minimum of twenty minutes for each session. But, after doing the same exercises and the same style of training, you may become bored. You lose your momentum and you reach a plateau. This is the point in which the training or exercise you are currently doing can no longer give you additional benefits. To overcome a cardiovascular exercise plateau, you should change your routine and use a new method.
There are three most popular methods of a cardiovascular program, continuous training, interval training, and composite training.
Continuous training is the traditional and most common method of cardiovascular exercise. By virtue of its name, a person doing continuous training is using only one activity throughout the whole thirty-minute session. For example, the sole activity can be riding a stationary bike. A person will ride this stationary bike for the whole thirty minutes of one session. The benefit of such training is that the large muscle groups are used continuously for 20 to 30 minutes. But, many who use such training eventually become bored by the monotony.
The interval training method is not recommended for beginners. This method involves the repeated use of a light-intensity activity followed by a hard-intensity one. A typical interval training maybe like this: The light intensity activity may be walking at a comfortable pace. This may last for five minutes (intervals can be from 2 to 10 minutes). After the five-minute walking, the person begins to jog or run. Jogging or running is a hard-intensity activity. It must also last for five minutes. And then the person goes back to walking for another five minutes. This sequence is done over and over again until he finishes the entire 30-minute session.
In composite training, a person may use several cardiovascular activities. A person using this method is less prone to boredom or plateau. A typical composite training maybe like this: a ten-minute bicycling, followed by a ten-minute stair-stepper, and then last ten-minute rowing.
To make cardiovascular exercise more fun and more exciting, a person may combine both interval and composite training methods. For example, a ten-minute riding on a stationary bike, which is a part of composite training may become interval training when the resistance of the bike is adjusted. The ten minutes be divided between a two-minute light-intensity less resistance and a two-minute hard-intensity greater resistance.
Whichever method you are currently using is fine as long as you are still deriving benefits from it. If you have reached a plateau, switch to another method.