Zone 2 Exercise List

Exercising at a at a constant Zone 2 heart rate burns more fat for fuel. It also improves aerobic fitness and metabolic flexibility. You should do at least 2-3 blocks of Zone 2 per week. But it’s actually hard to stay in Zone 2: we often want to go harder than we should. As a former CrossFitter, I know exactly how hard it is to slow down when we *think* that going harder means better fitness.

Here’s our video explaining what Zone 2 is.

Here’s a list of exercises suitable for maintaining a Zone 2 heart rate for over 30 minutes:

  1. Cycling: Either outdoor biking or stationary cycling can effectively maintain a Zone 2 heart rate, especially on relatively flat terrain or with a steady resistance setting.
  2. Rucking: Walking with a weighted backpack or vest. The added weight increases the heart rate to Zone 2 levels without the need for high-speed movement.
  3. Hill Walking: A faster walk, especially in areas with slight inclines, can keep you in Zone 2. This is accessible and can be adjusted to your fitness level by changing the pace or incline.
  4. Light Jogging: A gentle jog where you can maintain a conversation is an excellent way to stay in Zone 2. The pace will vary from person to person based on fitness levels. Watch your heart rate!
  5. Rowing: Using a rowing machine at an easier pace can keep your heart rate in the desired zone.
  6. Swimming: Moderate-paced swimming, focusing on steady strokes over sprinting, allows for a sustained Zone 2 heart rate and offers low-impact resistance. If you’re not a seasoned swimmer, you probably won’t be able to stay in Zone 2 while swimming.
  7. Elliptical Training: With adjustable resistance and pace, the elliptical trainer can provide a controlled environment to maintain Zone 2 heart rate while minimizing joint stress. This is not my favourite, because the machine does a lot of teh work for you, but if your’e stuck inside and all other options are in use, you can still get there on an elliptical.
  8. Cross-Country Skiing: If you have access to snow and equipment, this is an excellent full-body workout that naturally keeps the heart rate in Zone 2 due to the constant movement and resistance.
  9. Dancing: Low to moderate-intensity dance styles, such as ballroom or folk dancing, can maintain a Zone 2 heart rate while also being a fun and social activity.
  10. Stair Climbing: Using stairs or a stair climber machine at a moderate pace can keep your heart rate in Zone 2.
  11. Inline Skating: Skating at a steady, moderate pace on flat terrain can be a fun and effective way to maintain your heart rate within Zone 2.
  12. Paddle Boarding: Stand-up paddle boarding, especially in calm water, requires continuous effort without overexertion, keeping you in the desired heart rate zone.
  13. Kayaking: Paddling at a steady, moderate pace on calm water can maintain a Zone 2 heart rate while providing a good upper body workout.
  14. Light Hiking: Hiking on relatively flat or gentle trails can keep your heart rate in Zone 2. The natural terrain adds variety and challenge.
  15. Aqua Aerobics: Water-based exercises, especially when performed continuously without high intensity, can keep your heart rate steady in Zone 2, with the added benefit of low impact.

It’s essential to monitor your heart rate to ensure it stays within the desired range. This can be done using a heart rate monitor (some watches are pretty good too.) Remember, the key to Zone 2 training is consistency and duration, rather than intensity, so choose activities you enjoy and can perform regularly.

The Catalyst Method is a personal prescription for improving your healthspan.
It includes challenges for physical exercise, nutrition, and happiness.
This is a daily sample. Complete two blocks daily. Your prescription should be personalized by your coach.
Book an appointment to see a coach here (your first is free).