The workout below is for Day 16 of the Just Enough Workout, a four-week workout plan. Today’s routine is pretty great on its own, but you can also check out the full program right here or browse the calendar here. If you’d like to sign up to receive daily emails featuring these workouts, you can do that here.
For today’s workout, we’re going to shift gears and follow up yesterday’s strength session with a cardio routine, where the name of the game is moving your body and maintaining a moderate, sustained effort.
This is your third steady-state cardio routine of the program, so you may be thinking, Am I working hard enough?! When people hear cardio, they often think of hard, heart-pumping pushes followed by pulled-back recoveries. That’s the basis of HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, and though there are tons of HIIT benefits—it can boost your power, speed, and even your VO2 max, or how effectively you can use oxygen during exercise—it’s not something that you should overdo. With HIIT, you’re working with really hard pushes, and your muscles need ample time to recover.
That’s why it’s helpful to include steady-state cardio in your workout programs, and why the Just Enough Workout does so regularly. Besides offering easier recovery, steady-state cardio also brings its own benefits to the table, such as an increase in aerobic capacity and muscle endurance. Plus, like we’ve mentioned before, it’s often easier for your mind to disengage during these kinds of routines, since you don’t have to track intervals on your watch. That means you can let your thoughts wander and really just be in the moment, making it a great mood-boosting option.
As in your previous cardio routines, you’ll be working with ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) for this one. Here’s what to keep in mind:
- RPE: 0 – At rest.
- RPE: 1 – Very light effort. You can easily hold a conversation.
- RPE: 2–3 – Your warm-ups, cooldowns, and recovery intervals. You can speak comfortably in full sentences.
- RPE: 4–5 – Moderate effort. Talking in more than a sentence or two at a time is difficult.
- RPE: 6–7 – High, vigorous effort. You can only speak a few words or phrases at a time—not full sentences.
- RPE: 8–9 – Very hard effort. Talking is almost impossible. Maybe you can muster a breathless “yes” or “no.”
- RPE: 10 – All-out, maximum effort. Talking is out of the question.
Ready to get started for today’s cardio? Slip on your sneakers and walk, jog, bike, or row your way to some mind-clearing benefits!
Just Enough Movement Directions:
- 10 minutes steady-state cardio (RPE: 3–4)
Just a Little More Movement Directions:
- 20–30 minutes steady-state cardio (RPE: 4–5)
Photographer: Katie Thompson. Wardrobe styling: Rika Watanabe. Makeup: Monica Alvarez at See Management. Hair: Erin Piper Hershleb at L’Atelier. Creative director: Amber Venerable.
Molly Tellekson wears: Top: Lululemon, similar styles. Bottoms: Reebok Lux High-Waisted Colorblock Tights, $65. Shoes: APL TechLoom Phantom, $185.