Whether you're a cardio queen or prefer to focus on strength training, getting your heart rate up is an important aspect of staying in shape. Not only is it crucial for cardiovascular health, but it can also fuel your metabolism and torch a tremendous amount of calories - provided you employ the right techniques and moves.
So how do you get the most out of your cardio workout? Here are the answers to all your burning questions:
Do I really need to warm up and cool down?
Even taking two minutes to warm up your muscles can help to prevent an injury. Not only that, but you're less likely to experience cramping, which might force you to stop sooner than you want to. Cooling down is also important for preventing your muscles from tensing up and easing your body back to a resting state.
How long should my workout be?
The length of your cardio session depends on what you're trying to get out of it, but typically it will range from 30 minutes to an hour, unless you're training for a marathon. However, if you're tempted to hop off the elliptical or stationary bike after half an hour, consider the fact that staying on for a little bit longer could have a big impact on any weight loss goals. In fact, according to Fitsugar, just five extra minutes on one of those machines can burn an extra 56 calories.
What can I do to burn more on the treadmill?
If you're looking to amp up your cardio session, nix the steady runs for high-intensity intervals. Alternate two minutes at a moderate pace with 30 seconds of sprinting and gradually work your way up to one minute of each. These bursts will make your heart, body and metabolism work harder than ever, improving your endurance and blasting belly fat. Remember that you'll scorch the most calories by switching up your cardio, so try to alternate at least two different kinds each week.
Make the zaggora hot top or zaggora hotpants part of your exercise uniform and the Celu-Lite fabric will give you an added calorie-burning boost.
Is there a way to combine cardio with strength?
Yes, you can multitask your muscle-building with your cardio and get the benefits of both. Take advantage of the fact that you can increase the incline on your treadmill to work your glutes, or slow your speed and incorporate some walking lunges.
While the majority of cardio exercises emphasize your legs, you can still give your arms a workout. Try holding light free weights in your hands while you're grooving in your Zumba class. Or, you could reach for a larger weight and do overhead tricep presses while speed-walking on the treadmill.
What are some ways to stay motivated?
A high-energy playlist is key for getting nearly anyone in the right mindset for a workout, so if you're having a tough time adhering to your routine, it might be time to look into some new tunes. You should also keep track of your progress in a mobile app or a journal - once you notice improvements you're bound to stick with it. Still struggling to keep up with your regimen? Consider joining a running group or exercise class - most people are more motivated when they're surrounded by others who are dedicated.