Adding variety to your cardio workout

Not getting the results from you cardio workouts that you expect?

There may be a lot of reasons (or a combination of many). Answer these questions for yourself:
1. Do you gravitate to the same equipment every time you hit the gym?
2. Do you pick the same settings (speed, incline, etc.)?
3. Can you carry out a detailed conversation to your workout buddy without breathing heavy?
4. Do you always choose non-weight bearing equipment?
4. Are you distracted by TV, books, etc.?

If you answered yes to any or all of these we’ve pinpointed an easy to fix problem!

Here are a few ways to fix these problems and maximize your time spent on cardio workouts because let’s face it, time is a very valuable commodity these days.

1. Choose different equipment! I know we all have our favorite whether it’s running, the elliptical, bike, etc. but the only way to keep your body from hitting a plateau is to not let it catch up. If we do the same activity all the time, our neuromuscular system learns the motor patter and becomes more efficient, thus burning less calories.

2. If you REALLY LOVE your cardio piece, then fine stick with it, but you MUST vary the intensity. What do I mean? Intervals are always an easy fix.
             For example, on a treadmill if you normally run at the same pace for the same amount of time                       simply sprint or pick up the pace walking for 1 minute then rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute at your normal pace and repeat. This may actually shorten your total workout time as well and who doesn’t like that!!!

3. You should be able to talk but it should be hard with heavy breathing as you speak. Otherwise, your heart rate can’t possibly be high enough for the results most of you probably want.

4. Non-weight bearing equipment (bike, elliptical, anything where there is no impact) are great for cross training, injuries, and to give yourself a break from constantly stressing joints but you MUST do weight bearing activities as well. They involve more full-body work and help with increasing bone density.

5. TV, books, etc. are not bad at the gym but make sure you still push yourself and don’t get caught up in a show or book and become lazy in your workout!

Next time… easy ways to vary your strength workouts

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