Discover the benefits of zone 2 cardio (+ 1 warning)

Would you like to move more, but you often don’t feel like it after a long working day? How about a morning session that doesn’t exhaust you or an evening workout that you can handle? Meet zone 2 cardio training.

What is zone 2 cardio?

Zone 2 cardio is based on the five zones in which you can divide your heart rate. You train at 60 to 70 percent of the maximum heart rate. It feels like a light effort that you can sustain for a long time.

For this type of exercise you need to know your maximum heart rate. You can easily calculate this by subtracting your age from the number 220. Suppose you are 28. Then your maximum heart rate is 192 beats per minute.

Some trainers use a slightly different formula: 208 -/- (0.7 x your age). In that case you will end up with 188 strokes at the age of 28.

Benefits of zone 2 cardio

Zone 2 cardio has several benefits for your body. It is especially good for your heart and lungs, but also for your mood and your weight.

Heart and lungs

Exercising at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate increases the endurance of your heart and lungs. Your body also expands its vascular system, allowing more oxygenated blood to flow to different parts of your body.


During a zone 2 training you mainly use fat as fuel. Your fat burning therefore increases and that is beneficial for your weight. The more you train in this zone, the better your body gets at burning fat for energy. Omega 3 also helps to burn fat. Use it to your advantage.

Your mood brightens up

When you do zone 2 cardio, your body releases endorphins. That’s because your muscles are moving and the blood is flowing while your body is not under heavy strain. Endorphins are happiness hormones that boost your mood.

How often should you do it?

It is best to train in zone 2 two to three times a week for at least 45 minutes. Then you would benefit best from the health benefits that these gentle cardio exercises entail. Everyone is different, so see what works for you.

How do you fit it into your daily routine?

Zone 2 cardio is easy to fit into your daily routine. You don’t have to go to the gym for this.

For example, you can watch a movie or TV show in the evening while standing still. If you have an exercise bike, you can cycle while watching your favorite television series.

This way you can think of even more activities where you can fit zone 2 cardio into your daily life. Here are some light exercises that can help you train in zone 2 every day and reap all the health benefits:

  • · Meet up with a friend and take a walk through the woods or on the beach
  • · Take a lunchtime walk on a working day
  • · Go for a quiet jog in the neighborhood before or after work
  • · Dance to your favorite music
  • · Swim slow laps in the pool

1 warning

If you only do zone 2 training and omit strength training, your muscles may decrease in size. If you want to maintain strength and muscle mass, it is important that you alternate zone 2 cardio with strength training.

Do you want to know what else you can do for a healthy lifestyle? Here you will find information about healthy food.

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