- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
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.