Steady State Cardio: Beginners Tips
You now have an abundance of information on the basic how’s and whys of steady state. You know how to integrate it into your existing workout. Next, we’re going to offer some tips to help you embrace steady state with confidence so that you have fun while you’re working out and getting in shape.
#1 Start with once a week
If you’re new to exercising or you have a pretty packed workout program already, just start with one weekly steady state cardio workout. This will help you get used to what steady state feels like and how to approach it. You may find that it fits so well into your day that you add two or three more steady state workouts to your week – or you may find that once a week is enough.
As you begin steady state you’ll want to pay close attention to how your body is reacting to it. The goal is for you to feel good, but not even remotely exhausted after your workout. Your energy level shouldn’t dip, and you shouldn’t feel hungry after your workout.
This means paying close attention to your pacing and exertion levels while you’re exercising. Remember, steady state means finishing your workout at the same intensity that you began your workout – not necessarily the same pace.
Here’s the difference. You may start at a 9-minute mile relaxed pace, but the longer you run, the harder that 9-minute mile pace may feel. To maintain the same level of exertion, your pace may drop to 10 or even 11 minutes. Wearing a heart rate monitor is one way to measure your effort. You want to keep it in a low to moderate zone.
Another way to measure your intensity and exertion is to pay attention to your breathing. If you can’t talk and hold a conversation while you’re exercising, then you may be pushing yourself too hard.
After the workout and the next day, pay attention to your energy levels, caloric intake, and muscle soreness. If you experience a drop in energy, a need to eat more than normal, or you’re sore the next day, then you may have pushed yourself too hard.
#3 Is it Enjoyable or Do You Hate It?
Find something that you enjoy doing or can do for an hour without hating it. For example, if the treadmill makes you sad, what about a spin bike or a jog around the park? It doesn’t make any sense to force yourself to do something that you hate. For one thing, it’s difficult to motivate yourself to do something you dislike. Besides, life is short. Exercise is important, but it shouldn’t be awful.
#4 Find A Workout Partner
Partners are a wonderful way to:
● Enjoy the workout a bit more
● Motivate yourself to work out because your partner is counting on you
● Make the time pass more quickly
● Help you find an appropriate steady state pace
#5 Make Sure You’re Properly Fueled and Hydrated
Generally speaking, unless you’re struggling with blood sugar issues, you don’t need to eat anything before or during your steady state workout. You should be able to exercise for up to an hour without eating.
You probably also don’t need to run or exercise with any water or hydration. Unless you’re working out for longer than one hour, or you’re working out in particularly hot or dry weather, then you should be good to go. However, you do want to make sure that you begin the workout well hydrated. Consider making sure that you drink at least 8 ounces of water in the hour before you work out.
The same is true post-workout. Eat when you’re hungry and it’s mealtime, and drink often. Proper hydration helps with recovery, sleep, and energy levels throughout your day.
#6 Get the Gear
While steady state generally doesn’t require any special gear, getting some fun gear can make it more fun and make you feel more confident. So, what is “fun” gear?
New shoes. If you’re going to be walking or running, good shoes can help protect your feet and joints.
New workout clothing. Shorts, tights, and exercise tops are all good to wear when you’re working out. They help wick sweat away from your body and may motivate you to exercise.
Accessories. If you’re exercising outside, such as walking, running, or bicycling, and you’re going to be out when it’s dark or when the sun is setting/rising, please make sure that you’re visible. Wear reflective clothing at a minimum, and consider a headlamp or flashlight to make sure you can see where you’re going.
Other accessories might include a fitness tracker, a heart rate monitor, sunglasses, a music player, and so on.
#7 Create a Plan
Create your steady state cardio fitness plan. Plan out 30 days of exercise, stick to it, and then take a look at your results. What worked well? What didn’t? What do you need to change going forward?
Steady state cardio can be a truly beneficial addition to any workout program. Whether you’ve been exercising for years, or you’re new and this is your first fitness plan, it’s a highly effective and useful approach. Enjoy steady state and the benefits it provides.