From the treadmill to the running tracks, working up a sweat can be tedious.
Check out our top seven tips to improve your cardio workouts.
Plan your cardio
It might seem simple enough to run until you’re sweaty – but the routine will get old, fast. Just like a weights session, plan your cardio workout before you begin exercising.
Make your sessions short and sharp
You may be clocking up the kilometres on the elliptical machine, but if you’re performing “easier” types of cardio over longer periods of time, you may not be getting the results you desire. Opt for shorter bursts of cardio, performed at a more intense pace. This allows for your body to expend calories throughout the day, resulting in a higher calorie burn.
Don’t focus on the ‘fat burning zone’
The notion of the fat burning zone was born as a result of the link between low intensity workouts and fat and carbohydrate burning. It’s a fact that during lower intensity exercises, the body uses fat as its primary source of fuel, however, for overall weight loss, what matters most is the difference between calorie input and output.
Don’t get too focused on getting in the zone. For fat loss, try high-intensity interval training.
Cardio or weights?
If you undertake an intense cardio session, it’s unlikely you’ll have enough energy to complete an equally intense weights workout. Similarly, after completing a heavy weights session, the last thing you feel like doing is getting your muscles moving.
Since weight training and cardio affects muscles in different ways, it’s ideal to split up your cardio and weights training into two separate sessions.
Don’t bother with ankle weights
No, those extra two kilo ankle weights aren’t doing you any favours when you work up a sweat. Arm and ankle weights aren’t heavy enough to make a significant impact on your calorie burn – if anything, you’ll be more likely to be thrown off balance.
Raise the intensity of your cardio instead of your resistance, or if your goal is to get stronger, move along to the weights machine. You can’t cheat your way to a fit body.
Stop watching the screen
For some people, the most rewarding part of cardio is the
chance to plug in earphones, tune in to the personalised TV screen and catch up
on your favourite shows. But if you’re able to fully focus on a TV or flick
through a magazine while you’re performing cardio, you’re not working hard
Avoid the TV or reading during your workout – instead, focus on your movements and performance to ensure you’re adhering to proper form.
Don’t go steady
Staying at a steady pace for a long period of time won’t be as effective as a short and sharp cardio session, so instead of a 45 minute power walk, opt for 20 minutes of high intensity interval training. This will increase your metabolism much more effectively than a steady pace.
This article was proudly provided by the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers, who support Genesis Fitness and help our members achieve their fitness goals. If you are interested in starting a career in Personal Training, click here for more information.