How can I build cardio fitness level…?

Right now I'm a bit overweight. Over the past few months I have slowly changed my eating habits and have already lost some weight. But now that summer is here its the perfect time to introduce exercise to my routine. I want to be able to run a mile or two without stopping by the end of summer. If I can do that, when I return to college in the fall I will be more confident in going to the school gym and not looking like an out of shape moron in front of a hundred athletes and will be able to keep it up. However, right now I don't think I can even run a minute or a full lap around a track without huffing and puffing. Terrible I know. I also have asthma which doesn't help.

So let's just say that right now I can run for 30 seconds straight. Would it work if I ran 30 walked a minute ran 30 walked a minute etc. for a half hour. I do that for… I don't know…3 days. Then I up it to 40 seconds walk a minute…. Then a few days later up it to 50 seconds etc?

Is there a better way to do this? I don't know what I'm doing. Help. What should I start at? How often do I run? How long do I run each time? What should the intervals be? Do you think I can reach my goal?

Also – this isn't about losing weight quickly and simply. This is about bettering my cardiac fitness and bettering myself overall.

You can only do what you can do at any one time given your level of fitness at that time. The more you exercise the fitter you become, so the activity which once had you out of breath eventually becomes easy. If you are carrying excess weight, maybe you would be better avoiding the running for now and concentrating on get the weight down and a bit fitter first, by say brisk walking, jogging, cycling, rowing etc. Once you have up the fitness levels and brought the weight down, you can then try the running again. It's ok to walk for a bit and run for a bit as long as your heart rate remains within the target zone. Also try some strength and conditioning work such as squats, lunges etc to build up your leg strength.

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