C-A-R-D-I-O. Probably one of the most dreaded things on my agenda for most of my life. I just like lifting weights more. BUT cardio is the ultimate weapon for burning fat – so you better learn to love it! Here’s how to love it a little more and maximize your cardio efforts!
#1 -Do what you LIKE to Do!
Oh, you read a post by your favorite Fitstagramer ( Fitness Instagram-er) that he/she ONLY swears by the Stair-mil to burn fat?
I don’t know about you, but I have a different ailment every day of the week. No, I’m not a hypochondriach. If I had my mind set to one piece of equipment, I would never do cardio. For instance, my knee starts bothering me if I use the Elliptical. It’s just not the best position for it. So then I will go to the treadmill. Sometimes I tweak my ankle while running sprints on the treadmill, so I will move to the Bike. I use to get so hung up on, “I have to use the Stepper or my cardio session is screwed!”, and then I would half-ass it on a different machine because I was ticked off that things didn’t go my way that day.
The idea here is to do what you like to do or what you CAN do without thinking that you HAVE to use a certain machine to get the most out of your cardio session. Listen to your body and adjust if need be!
#2 – Your Shoes better be Comfortable!
Not all shoes are created equal – duh. You think I would know this by now. I was in a rush to get out of the door one afternoon and I didn’t grab my Nikes. I knew I had to get in a walking cardio session that afternoon, but I was wearing Converse shoes. While they are “sporty cute”, they are definitely not “sporty comfortable” (for me). I maybe made it 10 minutes into my incline walk before my shins and calves started burning and getting cramp-y and I just had to stop. Clearly the sole of Converse shoes are thicker and heavier than what I’m used to and just were not the right environment for my feet for a cardio session.
Moral of the story: get the right shoes for whatever training you are doing!
#3 – Get Your Hands OFF the Handles!
It might be my inner “old woman”coming out, but I get so irked when I see someone walking on the treadmill just bookin’ it, but hanging on the handles for dear life … OR leaning and putting a majority of the body weight on the handles while on the Step-mil. While there isn’t anything truly wrong with this … by doing that, you are not giving your maximum effort and it makes the activity easier.
Instead of doing that, pump your arms like they used to in those 80s workout videos! No, seriously! Think “Power Walking”. It makes such a huge difference honestly. I always feel like I can go so much faster, feel more balanced and just have a better cardio session. Of course when I do it, I feel like I should be wearing a tracksuit, walking with my old gal pals … in the Mall, ha!
#4 – Listen to Something Other Than Music!
I love music, don’t get me wrong. I probably know all the lyrics to every song I have ever heard, BUT that’s the problem for me! Listening to music while I’m doing cardio gets really predictable and almost boring.
I recently started listening to Podcasts, Audio books, or Watching a TV show or YouTube video to keep things more interesting! You almost get lost in the topic and lose track of time, which I welcome when I’m doing cardio! I used to listen to the same playlist over and over and before I knew it, I was very aware of how much time had passed while doing cardio because of which song I was on. Not to mention, repeating the same lyrics day after day got too monotonous.
Give that a try if you need something a little more entertaining during your next cardio session!
#5 – Don’t let your Body give out Before you Do!
Ever feel like you could run or walk forever, but your legs start to give up (burn, cramp, etc.) before you do?! If I don’t drink my favorite “Cardio Cocktail” to combat this , I regret it terribly! My legs will start burning with lactic acid buildup and it makes the rest of my cardio session pure heck.
My Cardio Cocktail is Magnum Nutraceuticals Opus & Magnum Nutraceuticals Hi-5! Gives me energy sans stimulants, helps me recover and gets rid of soreness faster and keeps that lactic acid buildup away!
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I hope these tips help you out! Do you have any tips to make your cardio sessions more effective and enjoyable?! Let me know in the comments below!