Shed Stubborn Pounds Starting Today
While cardio may not be your go-to muscle-building activity, it is an important part of an exercise that should not be overlooked. Cardio burns calories for greater weight loss, increases the heart rate for improved cardiovascular health, and promotes nutrient flow throughout the body for enhanced muscle recovery.
How to shed stubborn pounds
If you are hoping to lose more pounds and tone your muscles, then incorporating cardio is key to the success of your program.
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Follow these 4 key tips to cardio workouts that will boost the calorie-burning capacity of your workout and help you shed stubborn pounds!
1. Complete a Thorough Warm-Up
Warming up is arguably the most important step to a successful workout. Warm-ups generally entail a full-body stretch or brisk walk on the treadmill.
These activities are light in intensity which prepares muscles for the exercises ahead. Warm-ups regularly focus on large muscle groups and should be completed right before you begin your routine. Warming up gets your blood pumping and raises your heart rate.
This improves your cardiovascular function as well as allows more nutrients to flow throughout your body.
Performing warm-up activities will minimize your risk of injury as muscles will become accustomed to the range of motion required in the following workout. You can find a great example of a warm-up here!
2. Keep An Eye On Your Heart
Cardio workouts are not only beneficial for weight loss but improve heart strength too. Be sure to monitor your heart rate throughout your workout. A lower heart rate means that your body is working more efficiently.
Therefore, an improved heart rate over time is a direct indicator that you are progressing and optimizing your cardio sessions. Most cardio-centric gym machines will track your heart rate for you.
Keep an eye on this number during your first few trips and set target heart rates you wish to achieve after a couple of training sessions.
Your maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. For optimal calorie-burning potential, you should aim to achieve a set target heart rate during exercise.
In an ideal world this target would be equal to your maximum heart rate multiplied by 0.8, however, a more realistic target heart rate would be your maximum heart rate multiplied by 0.6. Reaching this heart rate will help you efficiently burn calories and lose weight quicker.
3. Don’t Stick To Steady-State
Steady-state cardio refers to workouts, on the treadmills or cycles, that stick to the same speed or difficulty for the duration of the exercise.
While this may be a beneficial activity for light training days, maximizing your weight shedding potential means opting for high-intensity training. Rather vary your pace and difficulty, adding inclines and declines to your runs for added benefits.
This will increase your metabolism more efficiently and therefore, help you burn more pounds. Furthermore, conducting cardio in this manner will promote functional fitness by mimicking out-the-gym exercise.
This functional fitness reduces the risk of injury by training your muscles to handle everyday tasks.
4. Resist Routine
Traditional cardio exercises include treadmills, cycling machines, and stepping machines, however, there are a number of interesting classes that promote cardio performance.
These classes include Spinning, Zumba, and CrossFit to name a few. Spinning classes give you the opportunity to dabble in rigorous cycling routines that will challenge your cardiovascular strength and core.
Zumba has been known to have trainers work up an unbelievable sweat for optimal calorie burning. CrossFit combines a number of engaging exercises into a high-intensity workout that will leave you exhausted, however, shreds weight in no time.
Spice up your workout routine with any of these fun and intensive classes to meet a community of like-minded fitness enthusiasts and reap additional weight loss benefits.
Incorporating these 4 key tips to cardio workouts will help you efficiently burn calories during your next exercise routine.
They are easy to implement and offer a number of additional benefits to consider for the ultimate workout.