Cardio training, short for cardiovascular training, serves as the basis for virtually all health and fitness goals. Whether to keep healthy, build a lean muscular body, or to just drop a few or more pounds, cardio is simply essential. Cardio exercises can be performed in the form of fast walking, jogging, running, swimming or via the use of cardio machines. Below are 5 tips to help you train properly.
By virtue of its monotony, cardio training tends to make people shy away from the activity and never really follow a training program. A way to get around this is by entertaining yourself during your exercise sessions. Use a cardio machine with a TV to keep yourself occupied. Getting out in the open is also a good idea. A hiking trail, for instance, can turn training into recreation and thereby facilitate the undertaking.
Monitor Your Heart Rate
Keeping track of your heart rate while exercising, especially when you’re new to cardio training, will help your exercises be more effective. In cardio training, as in many other areas, quality trumps quantity. Knowing how hard you’re training, or at what intensity, is far more important that knowing how much of it you’re doing. For instance, running a 10-minute mile on a blistering hot august afternoon, requires a lot more, as far as effort, than doing the exact same thing later on in the evening when it’s cooler.
After a while, the body gets accustomed to training, your aerobic system steadily becomes more efficient, and as it does your heart begins to require less, in terms of effort, to provide the necessary supply of blood and oxygen to the body. Monitoring your heart rate will allow to progressively crank up the training intensity in order to keep reaping the fruits of your labor.
You can monitor your heart manually by placing a finger on your wrist and counting the number of beats per minute. You can also utilize a heart monitor as it offers a means by which to track your heart rate more conveniently and, to some degree, more accurately.
Engage in Interval Training
Interval training consists of short intervals of high intensity workouts interrupted by longer periods of low intensity exercise. The aim of interval training is to nudge your heart rate beyond your aerobic comfort zone. One of the major benefits of interval training lies in the fact that the body continues to burn calories long after the exercise session is over, as the body takes longer to recover, keeping the metabolism up.
Change it up
Alternating exercises has many benefits. Doing so will help promote a better overall physical condition and muscle function. Changing it up will also help with the monotony factor. So rather than just hitting the treadmill every time, try mountain biking, rowing, kickboxing, or a number of other cardio exercises.
You should also vary the durations and intensity of your interval training to help maximize results. When running outdoors, take different routes with different inclines and surfaces.
Whatever you do, ensure your safety first. It’s imperative that you check with your doctor to ascertain that training will not cause you harm due to a medical condition of which you may not be aware. If you begin to feel light-headed while exercising, decrease the intensity of the workout. If the condition persists, then stop exercising altogether. There’s no sense in trying to get fit when what you’re doing is having an adverse effect on your health.