CRUSHIN’ Your Cardio!

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Karena and I love to switch up our cardio sessions each week, and we want you to do the same! This keeps your body guessing, and your fitness on point! Plus, when you add variety to your workouts, you’re less likely to get tired of them. After all, variety is the spice of life! In our Weekly Workout Schedule (found under the Fitness Tab) we suggest “cardio” a few times a week. But what counts as cardio!?

Jogging, stair climbing, power walking, biking, swimming, dancing, any of your HIIT workouts, or any prolonged exercise that gets your heart rate up. Your Daily Moves don’t count as your assigned cardio, but you can mix in cardio between them!

Cardio can essentially be anything that gets your heart rate up. It improves cardiovascular health, increases lung capacity and torches calories, making it a super important part of your weekly fitness routine!

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Guess what!? You don’t need to do your assigned cardio all at once. You can squeeze it in throughout the day! Remember, 1 hour is only 4% of your day. Make every moment count!

Here are four ways to fit cardio into your day!

1. Head out for a 20 minute jog or HIIT workout first thing in the morning!

2. Take a 20 minute power walk with a co-worker at lunch. Or, have to listen in on that conference call? Hit the stairs while you’re at it!

3. Add jumping jacks, jump roping, jogging or cardio between those daily moves.

4. Head out for an evening walk before or after dinner.

Get ready to get sweaty!! 💦

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No matter what activity you choose, you can always gauge if you’re in the cardio zone by checking your heart rate! You can do this with a heart rate monitor or by finding your pulse and counting how many times it beats in 15 seconds, then multiplying that number by 4.

The ideal heart rate for cardio exercises is between 65-85% of your maximum heart rate. You can calculate your maximum heart rate by taking 220 and subtracting your age.

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For example, a 20 year old’s max heart rate would be 200 beats per minute and her cardio heart rate range would be between 130 and 170 beats per minute.

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Lace up your tennies, clip on your cycling shoes, or slip on your swim cap… and get ready to CRUSH your cardio, babe!! ;)

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RUN/WALK

This is probably what you think of when you hear the word, “cardio.” Running is always a great go-to. It requires essentially no equipment–just a pair of running shoes, and it’s a full body workout with an emphasis on core and legs. What’s more, studies have found that it can lift your mood!

We love incorporating a run into our schedule up to 5 times a week. If you choose to walk, just make sure you’re walking at a fast enough pace to raise your heart rate to that sweet target zone (65-85% of your max heart rate).

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BIKE

Indoor or outdoor, we love hopping on a bike! During the summer, cycling outside with friends is more of a social outing than an actual workout… and yet you’re still burning major calories and toning your gorgeous bod! Turn cardio into a friend date by picking a cute restaurant en route, then get cycling with your gal pals! When it’s chilly out, stationary bikes are a great alternative! You can also try a cycling class at a studio!

To make cycling count as cardio, think in terms of minutes rather than miles. A 20-40 minute ride with your heart rate in the target zone is ideal.

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SWIM

If you have access to a pool, this is an AMAZING fitness resource! Swimming utilizes muscles in your arms, back, legs, core, AND booty… for some major toning during your cardio sesh! Win-win. Plus, you’ll get all the benefits of cardio without the impact on your joints. If you don’t have access to a gym with a pool, check your local high schools. Some open up to the public before school hours. Just make sure you wear a swim cap to protect your hair from chlorine… and to cut down on time getting ready post-workout!

Not sure what to do once you’re in the pool? Make a SPALSH and try out our Swim Workout below!

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STAIRS

Getting your sweat sesh in by taking the stairs is another fun way to switch up that cardio game! Doing a stair workout raises your heart rate to the target zone quickly and tones your booty, hamstrings, calves, and quads at the same time! Feel the burn, girl! If your gym has a stairmill, go through our Love Your Body Stairmill Workout HERE! If you don’t have a gym membership, take your workout to any building or park that has a set of stairs!

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TIU HIIT WORKOUT

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) can occasionally be swapped for a cardio workout! Since this type of training is more intense, it’s best to include it in your schedule 2-3 times a week. We love how quickly HIIT raises our heart rate while toning our body.

Try out our HIIT routines from Beach Babe 4! They’re amazing!!!

You’ll also love our 40 Minute HIIT from Beach Babe 2 and The Ultimate Bootycall from Beach Babe 3!

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What’s your favorite form of cardio!? Let us know in the comments below!

COMMENTS 54

  1. Thank you info, really helpful. Trying to mix things up as I get back into exercise! You two are so inspirational! Building up courage to take before photos as I have put on a lot of weight travelling :S!

  2. Hi,
    I’m 31. So my HR target zone is 123-161. But when I run (and I run slooowly), my heart jump to the roof, my average HR is at 165 and I can easily reach 180 BPM.
    What can I do to stay in my target zone ?
    Thank you for your advices ! ;)

    1. Have you tried to maybe run and then walk and alternate? That may help! Once that becomes too easy, you can reduce the walking each time!

      1. Hey Lucile,

        i`m also over 30 already and I can tell you from own experience, that this is totally normal. I don`t know much about your fitness level, and I don`t expect you to be on a low one at all, but this extreme high heart rate is due to that heart muscle which is not used to high intesity/cardio that much. To decrease your heart rate you should just take it as it is, as long as you don`t feel ill during running, you should just stay on track. Please don`t overdo it until you are dizzy or anything else, just listen to your body! Your heart will get used to that, so it will cope with the “new” work it has to do. I started having a heart rate around 180 -190 even when walking fastly. Now (2 years later and a lot of consistant training) my heart rate is even quite low (130-140 when running moderate level)! So keep on having fun and don`t you worry :D Best wishes from Munich, Germany! Yours Nana

  3. I love hiit as well, especially when Tone It Up makes a new full hiit workout, I love it! I’m definitely not a runner.

  4. I love to incorporate dancing as my cardio! Salsa will get your heart rate up real quick and it is a blast. Also I bought some Tracy Anderson dance cardio workouts and they are challenging for the brain and the heart rate, the choreography is tough!

    1. I’ve started using Tracy Anderson too! I love how quickly I warm up n am sweating up a storm! So much fun!!! I also love HIIT, walk/runs and playing around with my 3 yrs old :)

  5. I just started running again after going through the Bikini Series and Round 2 and choosing to walk for my cardio. I forgot how much I used to love running. I also enjoy walking. I love all your HIIT workouts too but sometimes I feel like I won’t get through them. They are INTENSE!

  6. The HIIT workout on BB3 is 31 minutes long, how long is it on BB4 TONEITKATIE?

  7. Hi! I really like jump roping and often do 15 mins of jump rope HIIT. 30 seconds fast jumping rope, 30 seconds rest. Can suggest other jump rope workouts?

  8. Hi, I have a question for workouts when you says repeat twice. Does that mean 2 rounds or 3 rounds after you finish the first do 2 more.

  9. I know that when we are tracking miles 10 minutes of HIIT counts as 1 mile. As far as doing cardio for a certain amount of time does 10 minutes of HIIT = 10 minutes of walking/running/biking? some of the newer HIIT videos are shorter, so if it says to do 30 minutes of cardio, should you do another video/repeat the video to get 30 minutes? I was under the impression walking/running/biking were more considered steady state cardio.

    1. Hi Michelle!

      For your Weekly Schedule, you can swap out equal amounts of cardio for HIIT. So 20 minutes of cardio for 20 minutes of HIIT. We recommend doing HIIT 2-3 times a week, so it’s best to still incorporate regular steady state cardio such as running, biking or swimming into your routine for the other days! :)

  10. I love BB3 ultimate bootycall! I have my own pool, and I do this swim workout all the time, I know why Michael Phelps is in such good shape now, wow it’s a great workout! But is Kettlebell cardio? I feel like must be, like during one handed swings!!

    1. Hi Jennifer, I answered this in my comment below before I saw the little icon where I can answer/respond to other comments, lol. Yes, kettlebell swings are AMAZING cardio workouts. They skyrocket the heartrate and what I love even more is they are low impact and typically don’t require a lot of space. Heck you can probably just alternate X amount of time doing variations of swings in between periods of rest while watching a movie/show. :-)

  11. I love cycling! Don’t see a ton of cyclists on the Insta community… I wish it would catch on! Not really into indoor so I spend a lot of time on my mountain bike on trails or just biking around town. So fun and a great workout. It’s also great with the Charity Miles app… if I remember to turn it on!

  12. I agree that dancing is a really fun form of cardio. I think it would be awesome if you two did a dance based cardio video, maybe even with a dance instructor!

    1. Yes, a dance based cardio workout gets my vote too! And I’m sure Kat the dancing queen would love it too :)

  13. running has always been my favorite go-to for cardio. :] if I knew how to swim, I am sure I would probably love that too. Hahaha

  14. I would love some indoor cardio besides hiit that i could do (low impact preferably cause my knees have issues). I know it’s a lot to ask, haha, but in winter, it’s not an option for me to go outdoors esp first thing in the morning. I like to do all my exercise at home! And someone asked if kettlebell swings count as cardio – YES! They are a GREAT way to get your heartrate up fast and low-impact (just need to find a good routine).

    1. I second this! Please share cardio workout options for those of us in cold weather and without access to equipment. Echoing the dance workout requests as well!

  15. Love the TIU HIIT routines — always so sweaty afterwards!

    Does Hot Yoga with weight training components count as cardio?

  16. I love playing basketball for my cardio! It’s so fun and it’s one workout I can get my boyfriend to do with me ;-). It goes by really fast and according to my fitbit, i burn about the same calories as other forms of cardio. I saw someone else comment that she plays tennis for their cardio and I need to start doing that!

  17. Awesome! Just finished my 5 daily moves! I feelin’ those abs! This is actually really fun!

  18. Cannot wait to try the swimming workout!! So happy to have an excuse to skip my run for a different cardio!!!

  19. Hi guys! I recently injured my knee and I’m finding it really hard to jog, run, even clim my regular stairs at home. Any advice on some other cardio sessions that are low impact on the knees. Thanks in advance! XO

    1. Hey girl!

      Swimming is a great option! Doing laps in a pool is major full body cardio workout! ;)

  20. This is great information! I have a better understanding of how to switch up my work outs now!!

  21. Hey Everyone! I have a question for those who are stuck inside on long days sitting at their desk working, and when I am finishing up lately, the weather has been challenging… can I still achieve similar results to running if I am doing HIIT? I was running in the morning and the evening – but I live in a very cold climate, and lately it has been putting a dent in my running plans! I was doing anywhere between 4-8 miles per day. Since I am an admitted running addict, I was curious if I can achieve the same benefits so I can get over my ‘head trip’ and stop beating myself up about not being able to run! Also, is it advisable to do HIIT 2x per day in the case where I cannot run 2x in a day?
    Thanks in advance girls! xoxo

  22. i love this program! It definitely makes working out easier into a busy schedule!! I love how pretty the pictures of the food are on the Instagram’s page, and I love how happy the girls are!

  23. I love Tone It Up so much! It has helped me with exercising and eating better. There is so much on here for me to learn. I am much more confident! Thank you so much ladies!! With love, Hannah ;)

  24. I was curious about stationary rowing machines. I use this for cardio in the winter, but I can’t believe 30 minutes on a rowing machine is the same as 30 minutes running- it burns your muscles so much more! A lot of the time the daily workout gives cardio in the form of minutes, should I subtract time from the cardio if I’m doing it on a rowing machine?

    1. Hey girl!

      You can use rowing as your form of cardio! You’re still getting your heart rate up into that cardio zone while rowing. Just use the equivalent amount of time for rowing as you would for running :)

  25. Thank you TIU is really keeping me fit. Karina and Katrina will Tone It Up be coming to England UK.

  26. Thank you TIU is really keeping me fit. Karina and Katrina will Tone It Up be doing a tour in England UK.

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