Cardio workouts have a variety of benefits: they’re important to keep your heart healthy and they are a must-do type of exercise if one of your goals is to lose some weight. Even if weight loss is not a personal goal, cardio is a beneficial type of exercise.
Not only does it keep your heart healthy, it increases your metabolism and helps to improve your overall stamina and fitness level. Whether the cardio activity is running, jogging, fast walking, using a skipping rope or cycling, there are some important tips that will help to make your workouts more successful and maximize your results.
Do Cardio After Strength Exercises
If you take advantage of doing both forms of exercise, make sure you do your cardio after strength training and not vice versa. You burn more calories if you complete the exercises this way around. You don’t even have to wait between workouts – simply transition from the weights room at the gym to the cardio room before you leave for the day.
Do Cardio Exercises In The Morning
Perform your cardio workout of choice in the morning, before eating anything for breakfast. Contrary to popular belief, doing strength training in the morning is not advisable. Cardio is perfect though! Performing your cardio workout in the morning forces your body to utilize fat reserves for energy rather than the consumed nutrients from breakfast foods or meals eaten throughout the day. An ideal way to force your body to burn more fat, it helps with weight loss and improving your overall fitness appearance. Go for a 30 minute jog, run or cycle around the block a few times or head to your local gym and do a 30 minute cardio routine in the morning.
Don’t Forget To Use Your Hands
When you visit the local gym to use their cardio equipment or use the cardio machines that you have at home – don’t hold the handrail. Learn to let go and pump each arm forward and backwards as you run, jog or fast walk. Don’t swing your arms across your body as you do so. Incorporating your arms into your cardio workout maximizes the efficiency of each cardio exercise. Typically, cardio exercises often focus on leg exercises so working your arms as well creates more of a full body workout.
Track Your Cardio Pace
Ideally, you want to make sure that you are not continually working out at the same pace. A smartphone app that monitors your heart rate or uses GPS to calculate pace, calories burned and distance covered is a great way to keep track of your pace. Alternatively, there are a range of store bought accessories that can do the same functions. Tracking each variable helps you to know if and when you should vary your workout pace to get the most out of it.
Do Different Cardio Exercises
Just like with any other workout, variation is key to continue getting results. Don’t always do the same cardio exercises as this will mean you miss toning certain aspects of your body. If you do cycling one day, make sure the next time you complete a cardio workout you try a fast walk or run.