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7 ways to get the best of your cardio regime

8/26 14:07:35

Most people just don’t get cardio. They treat it as some sort of duty that needs to be gotten over with, something that must be finished before they can move on to more exciting things like weight training or in some cases the steam bath. Others seem to only spend hours doing cardio without losing weight. Both methods are disastrous because cardio forms a vital component of any fitness or weight loss regime. Here are 7 tips to get the most from your cardio regime:

Tip 1: Measure your goals

The first thing you need to do before you start sauntering around is figure out your fitness levels. How long can you run for say 10km/h before your heart rate reaches its Maximum Heart Rate (calculated by subtracting age from 220)? Or for how long can you peddle madly on an indoor cycle before your body demands rest? Figure out where you are right now and have a clear goal. It could be something like wanting to run the next half-marathon in 5 months and work towards those goals. Read how to take your marathon training to the next level. 

Tip 2: Mix it up

Most people get extremely bored with just doing one sort of exercise. That’s why you need to incorporate different forms of cardio into your regime. Try and include different activities like running, walking, swimming, cycling, boxing, skipping, yoga or even participating in team sports. Remember it doesn’t have to be boring. Read about these exciting ways to lose weight. 

Tip 3: Don’t miss weight training

People live under the impression that cardio and strength training are two different phases of a workout but your actual aim is to improve your overall fitness. Combing cardio with weight training will help you build lean muscles, improve your basal metabolic rate and help you lose weight faster. In fact, combine it weight training. You could do squats with lesser weights or use sand bags while on the treadmill or elliptical machine. Read about the benefits of weight training. 

Tip 4: Add HIIT to your regime

Have you ever observed the difference between a sprinter and a marathon runner? While we’re not into stereotyping, a sprinter is likelier to be far more powerfully built. This is because they require short bursts of energy as opposed to endurance and their training helps build the muscles for that. Also high intensity interval training where you intersperse high levels of activity with relative rest helps you target the body fat while leaving the muscle intact. Plus HIIT helps you burn fat even when you’re not working out! Read how HIIT can help you lose 50% more body fat than people who do just cardio

Tip 5: Know your machines

Most gyms have four cardio machines – the elliptical, treadmill, an indoor cycle and a rower. Some of them have other variations but to optimise your cardio regime you should know how to use the machines properly. While the treadmill is great for HIIT – allowing you vary from low speed to high speed, the elliptical is effective for people who have joint problems. Similar benefit are there for the other machines as well and you should get your trainer or someone at the gym how to use them effectively. Read how to use the treadmill effectively.

Tip 6: Use technology to reach your goals

There are a million apps out there now which will help you track your goals, so use them. There are different apps for running, yoga, aerobics, etc. which will show you the ropes and also keep things exciting. Also most of these apps are linked to social media sites now so you will have some solid data to back up your claims about exercising! Read 7 fitness apps that will make weight loss fun!

Tip 7: Do it twice a day

Now before you start screaming bloody murder for even suggesting working out twice a day, we want you to realise that we’re not asking you to exercise more than normal.  Say you do cardio 60 minutes in the morning we are asking you to instead do it twice instead, 30 minutes once in the morning and once in the evening. This way you keep yourself more active, give your metabolism a kick and reap the same benefits from the same amount of exertion!

Tip 7: Measure your current level

Like all workouts, it’s vital you don’t get into a rut. It’s quite comfortable to get into one, so make sure you are always pushing yourself. For example, if you’re able to run 5 km on the treadmill in 35 minutes, try and do it under 30. If you currently do HIIT, with a 2-min high intensity interval and 3-minute low intensity one, increase it so that high:low ratio is 3:1. Don’t give in; always keep on trying to take it to the next level.  Read how to supercharge your cardio workout. 

Also read these tips: 

  • Get some cardio on a horse’s back!
  • Five common exercising myths busted
  • Have you met these 10 irritating gym personalities?
  •  Treadmill VS Elliptical trainer – which is better for weight loss?
  • Why HIIT is better for weight loss
  • Warming and cooling down: Ignore them at your own peril

You may also like to read:

  • Fun ways to exercise and lose weight
  • Lose belly fat with exercises by Hrithik’s trainer Kris Gethin
  • Can weight training help you lose weight?
  • Walking for weight loss
  • Get fit at your workplace with these expert recommended exercises and tips
  • Why is high intensity interval training better (HIIT) for weight loss?
  • 4 sexy and unusual ways to lose weight

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