How Much Cardio Do I Need?

( – During a recent study, a group of over 40,000 business professionals was asked whether or not they could burn fat by only doing weight training.

About 85% responded that strength training alone was a sufficient way to burn fat.

This is not the correct answer – while yes, increasing lean muscle mass is a vital step in maintaining a healthy, calorie-burning metabolism, there is no way to avoid getting in some cardio if you want to burn fat (and help keep your cardiovascular system strong).

But this answer inevitably leads to yet another popular question: exactly how much cardio do you even have to do?

Q: I’ve read so much conflicting information about just how much cardio I need, and exactly how hard my heart needs to be working to meet my goals. Now I’m confused. Help!

A: Cardiovascular endurance, or aerobic endurance, is a vital component of a complete fitness program. This training makes the heart (cardio), lungs, and system of blood vessels and capillaries (vascular) transport nutrients more efficiently. Knowing how much cardio you need starts with a basic understanding of what these systems do for the body.