Exploring Steady State Cardio: What You Need to Know

When meeting your fitness goals, trying out new trends and workouts that are considered popular today may be tempting. However, some tried-and-true methods can still be as effective today as they were yesterday. One of these methods is steady-state cardio.

If you want to improve your cardiovascular health while optimizing fat-burning and increasing your endurance, this exercise could be right for you. No need to worry if you need to figure out what steady-state cardio is. We will give you the details on what it is and how it can benefit you in the long run. With that said, let's give you more information on this exercise.

What Is Steady State Cardio?

Steady-state cardio is a form of cardiovascular exercise where you maintain a consistent and moderate intensity for a lengthy period. This should be distinct from high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT, in particular, features short bursts of intensity followed by resting. On the other hand, steady-state cardio will keep your heart rate stable and within 60 to 70% of the maximum heart rate you must achieve.

Exercises that fall under steady-state cardio include cycling, jogging, swimming, and brisk walking. Knowing what steady-state cardio is will be necessary for those looking to incorporate it into their regular fitness routines. These aerobic exercises are great for burning fat, improving cardiovascular health, and building endurance. By keeping a steady pace, your body will rely on fat as its primary energy source, proving that it will be excellent for those who want to lose weight and wish to keep it off for a long time.


RAW endurance athlete taking a break after a swim

What Are the Benefits of Steady State Cardio?

Now that you have a basic idea of steady-state cardio, let's look at its benefits. Here are the details:

Fat Burning and Weight Loss

Already, we have highlighted fat burning and weight loss as one of the top advantages of steady-state cardio. Steady-state cardio will be an excellent addition to your fitness routine if you're looking for something efficient in burning fat. What happens here is a process known as lipolysis. This is where your heart rate is kept in the aerobic zone while utilizing the fat stored in your body as an energy source. If done correctly, you can shed pounds while maintaining a healthy weight. If you're overweight and find it challenging to lose weight using other exercise methods, include steady-state cardio in your fitness plan to burn fat and lose weight effectively.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Consistent steady-state training will strengthen your heart and improve your cardiovascular health. You need to maintain a moderate intensity so your heart will work efficiently as it pumps blood and oxygen to your muscles. At the same time, it will also help improve your stamina, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower your blood pressure, and improve your cholesterol levels.

Endurance and Stamina

Suppose your goal is increasing your endurance and stamina. Steady-state cardio can help as part of your exercise program. By training at a steady pace, you can build your body's ability to sustain more extended periods of exercise without fatigue. If you're an athlete or an individual competing regularly in endurance sports like marathon running or long-distance cycling, you want to perform steady-state cardio exercises regularly.

You can start small and work up as you regularly exercise cardio. Before you know it, you will feel like going on for miles without getting tired. Chris Bumstead and the Raw Nutrition team know those who want to increase their endurance and stamina. That's why they highly recommend you try various supplements from the Raw Nutrition lineup, including creatine. Creatine monohydrate is said to help improve muscle power and strength and be great for power input for those who participate in triathlons.

Even though Chris is more of a bodybuilder than a triathlete, he knows that the right supplementation can help you reach your fitness goals, especially if you are having a protein shake after training for a 5K or even your first-ever Ironman triathlon.


A man working out with ropes in the gym

How to Incorporate Steady State Cardio into Your Routine

If you haven't incorporated steady-state workouts yet, this section will help you. Ready to see what it all entails? Here's what you need to do to include steady-state cardio in your current workout routine:

Choose the Right Exercise

When considering a form of steady-state cardio, look at activities you believe you'll enjoy and sustain for at least 30 minutes. You have the option of running, cycling, swimming, and rowing. All of these are excellent choices. Remember that other activities, such as using an elliptical machine or hiking, will also help if you want to do it consistently.

What Frequency and Duration is Best?

For optimal results, you want to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity steady-state cardio per week. The easiest way to do this is to break it down into 30-minute sessions five times weekly. Keep in mind that this will depend on your fitness level and goals. When comfortable, you can adjust the duration and frequency to a higher level.

If you are training for endurance and stamina, you could increase the time of your sessions whenever you feel comfortable. This means you could go from 30 to 40 minutes a session and then work your way up to 45 minutes, and so on. Again, you want to ensure that your body can sustain the increased length of the cardio activity.


A man taking a drink of water while taking a break cycling

Steady State Cardio vs. HIIT: Which is Better for You?

Even though steady-state cardio and HIIT are two different types of cardio training, they can both be excellent in a well-balanced fitness regime. What will be best for you regarding your fitness goals? Let's look at the benefits of HIIT and when to choose steady-state cardio. Here's some advice:

What are the Benefits of HIIT?

HIIT features short bursts of high-intensity exercises followed by rest periods. If you're looking to improve your cardiovascular fitness, increase your metabolism, and burn calories, HIIT might be what you're looking for, especially if you want a time-efficient cardio exercise. If you have a busy schedule, you may benefit from HIIT cardio.

When to Choose Steady State Cardio?

Steady-state cardio is the better option if you want to build endurance and improve your overall cardiovascular health. It is a sustainable form of cardio exercise that places less stress on your body, including your joints. For this reason, it is great not only for beginners but also for those who are recovering from injuries.

Why Not Both?

You can incorporate both steady-state cardio and HIIT into your weekly schedule. This will ensure you benefit from both training styles to boost your aerobic and anaerobic exercise capacities. So just because they are different doesn't mean you have to choose one or the other. Sometimes, both might be the best solution for your unique fitness goals while reaping the health benefits.

Tips for Maximizing Your Steady State Cardio Workouts

Before we wrap this up, we would only be sure if we included any extra tips to help you get the best out of your steady-state cardio workouts. Let's take a look now at these essential tips for you:

Monitor Your Heart Rate

Monitoring your heart rate during an intense exercise is essential to staying within the optimal range. We suggest you use a heart rate monitor or fitness tracker to stay within the 60% to 70% range of your maximum heart rate. By keeping track of your heart rate, you want to get the most out of your steady-state cardio sessions.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is also a great idea to maintain your performance while preventing fatigue throughout the workout. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. This will be vital for your overall body functions. Whether it's a bike ride, an endurance run or a low-intensity exercise, hydration will always be important.

Listen to Your Body

Steady-state cardio is typically low-impact. Nonetheless, it is essential to listen to your body and ensure you do not overtrain. If you're feeling fatigued or experiencing discomfort or pain, be sure to rest. You can also switch to a different form of exercise to prevent injury while maintaining your long-term success.

If you experience severe pain, stop immediately and seek medical attention. This could indicate a potential injury that sideline you for quite some time.


A man getting ready to go for a run

Final Thoughts

Steady-state cardio could be in your fitness regimen, especially if the goal is losing weight, increasing your stamina and endurance, or simply looking for a cardio session to complement strength training. Either way, include this so you can get the best results possible.

You’ll be a lean, mean, endurance machine. Or you might be conquering long-distance competitions. The rewards will be even greater than before.

It's also great to check out what Raw Nutrition has in stock for all your supplementation needs. Whether building your endurance or increasing your strength, we have something you need. Please stop by our store today and check out our supply of high-quality products tailored to your fitness needs.

The information being presented in this blog is intended to be used as educational or resource information only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your healthcare provider. This content should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please contact your healthcare provider. You should call 911 for all medical emergencies. Raw Nutrition is not liable for any advice or information provided on this blog, which advice or information is provided on an “as-is” basis, and assumes no liability for diagnosis, treatment, decisions, or actions made in reliance upon any advice or information contained on this blog. No warranties, express or implied, are made on the information that is provided.
July 10, 2024 — Briana Gonzalez

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