Finding Cardio Effectiveness

  • Finding
    Cardio Effectiveness
  • We all love our cardio, right? Hang on… what was
    that? Did I happen to hear a collective sigh? Yes, cardio is usually the
    most hated portion of a work out. Especially if you haven’t yet found your
    cardio niche. Or, perhaps you have found your cardio niche… but now
    you’ve reached a plateau and don’t seem to be breaking through to the next
    level of fitness that you’re striving for. Don’t despair. There are many
    ways to break through those barriers, both born of boredom or lack of
    challenge, in order to maximize your cardio time.

  • Find
    Your Forte
  • That’s right. Take the time to try many different forms
    of cardio. Find the type of cardio that you absolutely love. It needs to
    excite you, to have you jumping out of bed, saying “Yes!” in the
    morning. Try anything and everything. Some of the best forms of cardio
    include the usual suspects, like running, bicycling, elliptical trainers,
    swimming, aerobics, rowing, and walking. Some lesser known, but still very
    effective, forms of cardio include skiing, dancing, rock climbing, martial
    arts, and team sports. Try everything. Pick your power! If you enjoy what
    you do, you’re going to be motivated to continue. And not just continue…
    you’ll be motivated to keep moving forward, to keep challenging yourself
    and achieving more goals. That will help prevent the plateau effect!
  • Find
    the Time
  • Make your cardio work out effortless, just a normal
    part of your day. Is there a time in which you’re most likely to work your
    hardest? For some people, it means first thing in the morning. They’re up,
    they’re focused, and they’re not being distracted by other things. Other
    people prefer the afternoon because they’re more energetic at that time.
    Again, whatever your preference may be, you need to take the time to find
    out. Try doing your cardio at different times. See what works best. Then
    make that time your cardio hour (or half hour, or 45 minutes). It takes
    decision making out of the equation. “Oh look, it’s 5:30pm. Time for
    a run.” To be honest, it doesn’t matter when you do your cardio, as
    long as it works for you, and as long as you’re actually doing it!
  • Find
    Your Challenge
  • Whether you vary the speed, the distance, the
    intensity, the type of movement, or the type of cardio entirely, you need
    to challenge your body. Don’t keep cycling 10 miles in 45 minutes if you
    always cycle 10 miles in 45 minutes. Try for 12 miles in 45 minutes, or 10
    miles in 30 minutes. Also vary the intensity of what you’re doing within
    the work out.
  • Work out in intense bursts, and then pull back a little
    for a break. There is any number of combinations suggested by researchers.
    For example, you could cycle as fast as possible for 8 seconds, followed
    by a 12 second lighter intensity “rest period”. Other researchers
    talk about intense bursts of activity with lighter “rest
    periods” in terms of minutes. It’s all up to your endurance level and
    your ability to pay attention during your cardio!
  • Don’t Be Slack!
  • If you’re working out for an hour, but average around 60%
    effort, then you’re wasting that extra time. You would be better off
    working out for 45 minutes at 80% effort. You will save yourself 15
    minutes, and your body will adapt, and therefore become fitter and
    stronger, at a faster rate due to the higher level of effort.
  • Cardio should form a part of every fitness fan’s
    routine, and with a little research and discovery about yourself, you can
    ensure that you’re making the most of the time you spend pounding those
    machines or pavements!

About dkpilates

Pilates Instructor, Yoga Instructor, Personnel trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. Don teaches Contemporary and the Authentic forms of Pilates, in the later 90's, Don began his study of Yoga. His study of Yoga includes the Hatha, Iyengar, Bikram, and Astanga disciplines. His other areas of interest in fitness include Martial Arts, Spin, Boot Camp Training, and Weight Training. Don has extensive training and certifications from AFFA, IDEA, MadDog, B-Fit and Polestar. Don Continues his of Pilates education with Michelle Larson in Santa Fe New Mexico. His personal philosophy related to fitness is to aid students in a personalized balance of strength, stamina and flexibility. He is dedicated to design a program specifically for his students independent of the season of their life to create functional movement and help them reach their fitness goals.
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