“The more time you put in initially, the quicker you’ll see the loss,” he said.
There is no physiological reason why someone new to exercise couldn’t do cardio seven days a week, but he says at the absolute minimum should be 30 minutes, three times a week.
“Maybe you don’t have one full hour that you can dedicate to cardio a day, but you have three 20-minute sessions,” he said.
Perhaps instead of working out at a steady rate for an hour, you work incredibly hard for three 20-minute spurts.
“That’s workout efficiency at its finest there, and that’s a beautiful thing,” said Land.
The key, he said, is being consistent about the routine and sticking with it.
“One day? That’s not going to make a huge difference. Twelve weeks? It will,” he said. “It’s like compounding interest.”
Land offered five tips for people interested in starting a cardio routine:
1) Set up some form of accountability.
Land says the best thing you can do with any fitness program is get accountability, whether it’s purchasing a gym membership, finding a workout partner or signing up to be part of a fitness-based club like the Kokomo Roadrunners or the Breakaway Bicycle Club.
“Put something on the line because you’re going to be way more likely to make it part of a routine if you have some sort of external motivation,” he said.
2) Set goals and start small.
Land said you can’t expect to jump out of the gate and run a marathon.
Instead, set attainable goals like working out for 20 minutes a day, five days a week. When you reach those goals, set the next one a little higher.
Mommy Makeover contestant Rebecca Hampton ran her first 5K race recently and now is thinking about competing in a sprint triathlon in the summer.