Cardio is one of the most important types of workout. Cardiovascular endurance is one of the four pillars of fitness, so it’s imperative that you pay attention to your heart and lung function during exercise. However, there are a few common cardio mistakes that can actually have a negative impact on your health if you’re not careful. Avoid these mistakes like the plague:
Taking a breakWhile it’s necessary to rest between sets of weight training (to give the muscles time to purge lactic acid and replenish glucose), you should NEVER rest in your cardio training. The workouts only build up your cardiovascular endurance if you maintain a higher heart rate—you’ll never do that by resting every few minutes. Start the workout and don’t stop until you finish!
Sticking with jogging.
Steady state, low-intensity exercise does have a place in your workout. It can be the “finisher” that helps you to burn a few extra calories of fat after a punishing weight training session. However, if you only jog, you actually end up storing more fat and burning muscle.
Eating too much.
Finishing your workout with a high-calorie, high-carb post-training meal is a terrible idea. While your body does need some calories to replenish lost energy, the ideal is in the vicinity of 200 to 400 calories, preferably with more protein than carbs and fats.
Taking it one day at a time.If you don’t have a plan, how will you know your progress or the results of your efforts to date? People who plan their workout as they arrive at the gym will rarely see long-term progress in their cardio. You need to know what you’re going to do every day, and you need a weekly overview that will hit your fitness from every angle. If you can’t come up with a plan, work with a trainer who will.
Sticking with workouts you hate.
Just because you believe jogging or cycling is the most effective workout, that doesn’t mean you HAVE to do the same workout every day. In fact, it’s recommended that you switch things up—not only to stop your body from adapting to the same workout but also to prevent boredom. Boredom is the number one enemy of fitness.
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