Cardio is an essential part of any health or weight-loss plan, but the hard work, effort and sweat can put off some people. The key to successful cardio is to work smarter, not harder during your workout, and then help your body recover in a healthy way. Here are a few tips to get the most of your cardio workout:
Do something you love:
An exercise and health program will always suffer if it is something you do not enjoy doing. Focus on exercises that you actually want to do and you will maximize its weight loss effectiveness. The number one goal is optimal health, not a certain number on a scale.
If you find treadmills or other cardio machines boring, bring along some aerobics music or a book or magazine. Audio books are another excellent way to make a tedious exercise program, tolerable and successful.
Change your habits:
Performing the same action often is one sure way to avoid effectiveness in healthy cardio routines—simple boredom is the same as hitting a plateau in your workout. Instead of 30 minutes on one machine, try two or three for 10-15 minutes each. Mix up your schedule and your exercise program will be more appealing, and will also be more effective.
Sneak cardio into your other workouts:
Don’t have enough time for cardio? Add a little to your weight training routine. Do some quick sprints between sets, or two minutes of skipping rope between reps of bench pressing. Before you know it, you have incorporated strong cardio into your routine, making you more healthy.
Use the correct form:
With poor form, the health benefits of cardio are significantly reduced—as well as increasing the risk of injury. For example, if you are not fully extending your legs on the rowing machine, you are not burning calories as efficiently as you could be.
Wait before eating after your workout:
To make the most of your cardio workout, wait an hour before you eat, and make sure to eat a healthy meal so as not to undo what you just did. Waiting to eat will help you burn calories at a higher rate during and after each exercise routine.
Keep within your target heart rate:
One of the most useful tools for maximizing your cardio workout is using a heart rate monitor. Use the device to see your healthy target heart rate, and maintain it within the proper range. This will make your heart work more efficiently, burn calories at an optimum level and increase the potentnial for weight loss.