Cardio is the most convenient as well as popular method of burning fat, and improving heart health and stamina. Yet, many people who do regular cardio find it difficult to get the expected results. So, it can be helpful to educate yourself about the right ways of doing a cardio workout. Following is a set of some helpful tips and tricks to maximize the effectiveness of your cardio sessions.
1. Do cardio on an empty stomach :
Doing cardio when you’re full is a strict no-no. But doing it on an empty stomach, especially early in the morning, can help you burn a greater amount of fat in the same amount of time and with the same effort. This is because, since your stomach is empty, your body has no choice but to utilize stored fat in order to provide the energy to do the workout.
2. Add variety in each workout session :
Don’t do the exact same set of exercises in every cardio session. If you’re doing treadmill and cycling in one, hop on to the elliptical trainer and then the rowing machine in another. To make things more interesting, you can skip the gym on a cardio day and, instead, go jogging outdoors or for a 45 min swim in the pool.
3. Do some cardio after weight training :
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t allot separate days for cardio. It only means that you can hop on the treadmill or any other cardio machine for 10-15 min after finishing your weight training workouts. Cardio after weight training is proven to give better results than only cardio, according to reliable studies. This is because after weight training, your body is depleted of glycogen stores and has an increased level of testosterones, which helps in burning fat faster.
4. Increase the intensity in intervals :
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is gaining more and more popularity due to its effectiveness. The logic behind this technique is to increase the intensity (speed/load) to the greatest possible level that you can handle and perform the exercise in that intensity for a certain time interval, after which you can slow down to a comfortable pace again. Once you regain a stable breath, repeat the process for a certain number of cycles according to your overall fitness. This method is daunting but very effective.
5. Listen to high tempo music while doing cardio :
This tip might sound a bit juvenile, but it actually works. Listening to good music sets up your mood to work out and a high tempo beat forces you to adjust to a pace that matches the tempo. This helps you to perform better than without music. It is convenient to download or create your own playlist of the duration of your cardio session so that you don’t have to switch songs every now and then.
There are many ways to improve your cardio workout, so don’t get disheartened if you do not notice progress doing the workout you’re currently doing. Everyone is different and suited for different types of exercises and diets.