Cardio workouts are one of the best ways to improve our overall health. However, there’s always the risk of plateauing after you’ve reached a certain point. To avoid this, here are a few tips to better maximise your cardio workout.
Tip #1: Throw in bodyweight exercises
Don’t limit your cardio workout to just aerobics, running or biking. Throw in some bodyweight exercises to boost your strength, mix up your drills, and add another dimension to your physical activities. Try bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, triceps dips, crunches and lunges for variety. Best of all, you don’t need any other equipment to do them.
Tip #2: Sprint in between
Add sprinting between segments of your cardio exercise. This will increase your endurance, boost your metabolism and burn more calories. You also have the option of making it an entirely separate session. What for? It’s good to change up your cardio exercises to avoid injuries caused by repetitive stress on certain parts of your body.
Tip #3: Don’t forget to cool down
In exercising parlance, "cooling down" isn’t about taking a break and/or having a swig of your sports drink. It’s actually performing a less intense exercise that lets your body shift from exerting to resting. Doing this lets you prevent dizziness and improve your recovery after a spirited workout.
Tip #4: Monitor your progress
Want to make the most out of your exercise? Here’s how: monitor how well you’re doing. This lets you find out what exercises are working so that you can improve on them. It also tells you what you’re not doing right so you can try something else.
Tip #5: Move your arms
When we say cardio exercises, these mostly focus on the legs. To make better use of your workout, start moving your arms instead of just letting them rest at your sides. This would make your cardio more balanced and allow you to burn some more calories. Swing them while running, brisk-walking, or doing aerobics and put a snap to it!
Tip #6: Extend your cardio
To better maximise your workout, extend it. This lets you improve your endurance and burn more calories by a little more each session. When taken as a whole, extending your cardio would give you more intense workouts. However, pay attention to how long your extension would be—you wouldn’t want to overexert yourself.
Tip #7: Use an incline
To burn more calories and make your exercise a little more challenging, try incorporating an incline in your cardio. If you run on the treadmill, look for one with an incline of at least 9 degrees. If you jog, hike or ride a bike, then go up a hill for a more intense session.
Tip #8: Intensify your exercises
Look for other ways to increase the intensity of your cardio exercises. For instance, you can jog up a hill with dumbbells. If you’re biking up an incline, consider using a more challenging gear. If you’re rowing, avoid touching your knees with your knees. The bottom line is to make your workout more difficult, especially if you’re already getting used to it.