Knowing how to improve your cardio workout isn’t always that easy. Unfortunately, there’s just not that much practical and useful online information. While much attention is drawn to weightlifting routines and exercises, cardio often gets put on the backburner. The idea that cardio isn’t as fun or beneficial as lifting weights simply isn’t true. This post has fifteen ways to improve your cardio workout so it can become fun, effective, and consistent.
1 - Explore your options
Getting on a treadmill and boringly pounding away for ten, twenty, or thirty minutes isn’t your only cardio option. With modern gyms and fitness classes, the cardio workout options are endless. Some of the more popular ones include:
- Body pump
- Water aerobics
Of course, traditional cardio workouts like outdoor running and cycling are always options as well.
2 - Use the buddy system
Finding a cardio workout buddy can be a great addition to your workout. You can think of ways to alter your workouts and you can push each other. Most people find that their cardio workouts become more fun and effective when they work out with a buddy.
3 - Workout at the right time
Choosing a workout time that fits your schedule and routine will help you enjoy workouts and stay motivated. If you really want to get the most out of your workout, there’s no reason to schedule it at a time when you want to be doing something else.
4 - Use the right equipment
Using the wrong type of equipment can make cardio miserable and cause you to underperform or quit. Take shoes for example. A pair of running shoes that don't fit your feet will undoubtedly make you hate running. Take the time to research equipment and talk to experts about it.
5 - Use the outdoors
If you like nature and the weather is great, go outside for your workout. Beautiful surroundings and fresh air can be great motivators.
6 - Use bodyweight exercises
Body weight exercises like squats, push ups, sit ups, and pull-ups are great ways to train your muscles and break up a cardio workout if it gets boring.
7 - Warm-up
A proper warm-up is a super important part of a workout that's often times neglected. A five to ten-minute warm-up session that includes dynamic stretching helps get your body acclimated to the work it’s about to do.
8 - Use a heart rate monitor
Heart rate monitors are great because they allow you to track what’s going on during your workout. Too often, people aimlessly go through a cardio workout without knowing how hard they’re working.
9 - Interval training
Interval training consists of bursts of high energy cardio training followed by rest periods of low energy cardio training. Interval training can be short or long depending on what you're trying to accomplish. The benefits of interval training are that it makes workouts less monotonous and it greatly improves cardiovascular fitness.
10 - Low-intensity aerobic training
Low-intensity aerobic training consists of a light workout for twenty minutes or longer. The benefits of this type of training are that it can help improve endurance and it can be used during days when you don't feel like working out very hard.
11 - Anaerobic threshold training
Anaerobic threshold training is working out at the level just before your body switches from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism. The best way to determine your anaerobic threshold is to find a pace where you can say a short sentence without becoming out of breath or feeling like you can say more.
12 - Cool-down
A brief cool down period is just as important as a warm-up. During a cool down period, your body begins to relax and recover.
13 - Monitor your heart rate drop
Your heart rate drop is the time it takes your heart to return to its resting rate after exercise. Heart rate drop is a great indicator of cardiovascular fitness and as such can be used to monitor your progress.
14 - Keep a log
Keeping track of your workouts will help you monitor your progress and plan future workouts. It will also help you stay motivated.
15 - Have fun
The best workouts are those that are fun. You should always keep that in mind before, during, and after your workout.
The information in this post can be used to help improve your cardio workout. Use any or any combination of the fifteen ideas as you see necessary. Remember to always keep in mind that your workout should be fun. If you need any help or would like to speak to one of our experts, please feel free to contact us.