Cardio Workout: Do’s and Don’t’s
No doubt about it: cardio is a great way to burn calories and lose that extra weight. You get your heart pumping, and you sweat ‘til you’re soaked, and by the time it’s all done, you feel as though you’ve accomplished something.
But before you give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, you might want to rethink your technique. Although cardio can help you slim down, it can also increase your chance of injury while decreasing your weight loss results if not done correctly.
Keep reading to find out if you’re making the most out of your cardio workout.
Top 5 Common Cardio Mistakes
Cardio Don’t: Lean on the Machine:
Cardio Do: Some machines provide handles to provide a little extra support and balance during an intense workout. However, putting your weight on your arms is undermining your workout. If you feel as though you’re pushing yourself so hard that you need to hold on to something, you’re better off lowering the intensity and listening to your body’s limits. Handles are there to get you started, not to act as a crutch.
Cardio Don’t: Carry Weights While You Walk:
Cardio Do: Although you may want to save time by doing your strength training alongside your cardio, carrying weights is not the best way. Experts agree that ankle weights alter the way you take each step, increasing your risk of injury, and carrying more than 3 weights in dumbbells while you power walk achieves the same result. It’s better to work on speed or endurance when it comes to running or walking than to add weights to your cardio workout.
Cardio Don’t: Be Passive:
Cardio Do: Sometimes, it takes every ounce of effort we have to get through our next workout, and more often than not, we like to distract ourselves with music, movies, books, and other media while we make our daily rounds on the treadmill or bike. Unfortunately, these distractions tend to get in the way, destroying our posture and lowering our intensity. If you’re going to work out, then be prepared to work up a sweat.
Cardio Don’t: Stick to the Same Machine:
Cardio Do: It’s easy to pick a favorite machine and go with the flow, letting our bodies adapt to a comfortable pace or rhythm. Although finding a good workout that you enjoy regularly (providing extra motivation to keep exercising), it’s equally important to vary your routine as much as possible. Not only does this reduce the risk of overtraining injuries, but it keeps you from sinking into a weight-loss rut.
Cardio: Don’t: Pass up the Water:
Cardio Do: Cardio is a great way to get the body moving and the fat burning, and if you’re doing it properly, you’re going to sweat – a lot.
The only way to replace the lost fluids is to drink plenty of water before, during, and after each workout. Keep a water bottle handy, and be sure to take a sip after every few minutes of exercise instead of waiting until the end of your workout.
Make the Most of It
Losing weight with a fun and challenging cardio workout can help you stay slim and trim, helping you to burn more calories with every session. Rather than cycling or walking just for the sake of exercising, make the most out of your workouts by the above suggestions. The more effort you put into your cardio workout, the more weight you’ll lose in the long run.