How to do "Zone 2" cardio?


Zone 2 cardio is characterized by a level of exercise intensity where you're working harder than normal, breathing faster, and your heart is beating faster, but you can still maintain a conversation. If you start working any harder, such as moving faster or increasing the incline, you'll not be able to speak in complete sentences without becoming out of breath.

To perform Zone 2 cardio:

  1. Choose an activity like jogging, rowing, cycling, swimming, or hiking.
  2. Engage in the activity continuously for 60 to 75 minutes in Zone 2, where you can sustain a conversation or maintain purely nasal breathing if you're alone.
  3. Adjust the pace to stay within this Zone 2 threshold, even on inclines.
  4. Build endurance by maintaining or increasing the distance over time without fatiguing.
  5. Optionally, add weight for more effort once basic endurance is developed.

It's recommended to get at least 150 to 200 minutes per week of Zone 2 cardio for cardiovascular and overall health benefits. Zone 2 cardio can be incorporated into daily life activities, like walking at a brisk pace or social hiking, to meet the minutes per week goal without necessarily scheduling workout sessions. When starting a fitness program, begin with less time and flat ground, gradually increasing both as your fitness improves.

For more detailed information on Zone 2 cardio, you can refer to the following clips:

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    Zone Two Cardio

    Andrew discusses the benefits of zone two cardio, a type of cardiovascular exercise that improves endurance and can be done through activities such as jogging, rowing, cycling, or swimming. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining a sustainable pace and building up capacity for long-distance exercise.

    Huberman Lab

    Fitness Toolkit: Protocol & Tools to Optimize Physical Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #94
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