Cardio workouts are without a doubt essential if you want to shed the excess pounds fast. A twenty or thirty minute cardio session will boost your metabolism and get your body in fat burning mode. Diet alone is not enough for weight loss.
2 or 3 cardio sessions a week will accelerate your weight loss and you’ll be able to see positive changes much faster. This will motivate most women to stay on track with their weight loss journey instead of throwing in the towel too soon.
There are a few tips that you can employ to make your cardio workouts more challenging. The tougher your workouts, the more calories you’ll burn and the fitter you’ll get. Let’s look at 5 tips that will really help you get the best out of your cardio training.
1. Fasted cardio
There is often much debate as to whether one should do cardio on an empty stomach. Some people say that it’s very effective while others say that it’s extreme and will burn lean muscle instead of fat because your glycogen levels are low.
The truth of the matter is that fasted cardio is very effective. It has to be done when you wake up after a good night’s sleep. Your body will be in a fasted state and since there is no food in your stomach, your body will burn its fat stores for fuel.
However, your cardio sessions should NOT be rigorous. The best type of cardio that you should do is just brisk walking. You want to raise your heart rate and break a light sweat but the intensity should not be too high. You should be able to hold a conversation. If you’re panting and gasping for air, you’re going too fast.
Walk for 20 to 30 minutes at a moderate pace and your body will burn its fat for fuel. Do this daily and over time, you’ll notice that your weight drops steadily. This is one of the most powerful fat loss methods out there.
Inclines refer to slopes, hills, etc. Anytime you walk uphill or climb stairs or swim against the current, you’re adding resistance to your movement. It will require extra effort to walk or run uphill. If you’re on a treadmill, set it at an incline and you’ll burn more calories during the same duration of the workout.
3. Speed and intensity
When your cardio sessions are kept short but intense, your workout becomes anaerobic in nature. When this happens, your body will go into fat burning mode for hours after the workout is over. Overall, you will lose more fat and get fitter.
Short, hard cardio sessions will always be more effective than long, steady state cardio sessions. If your level of fitness allows you to engage in hard cardio, go for it. Your fat will melt off faster and your stamina improve noticeably.
4. Added resistance
Besides walking or running uphill, you can add resistance to your workouts by using weights. Wearing ankle weights and running makes it that much tougher. Throwing on a weight belt or a haversack with a couple of weight plates will take your cardio session to a whole new level because you’re hauling more weight.
This makes the entire workout more tiring and you’ll burn more calories. Even holding a pair of lightweight dumbbells while walking will make a difference. Constantly find ways to add resistance to your workouts.
5. Splitting up your sessions
Another interesting way to get the most out of your cardio sessions is to split them up. Instead of doing 45 minutes of cardio at one go, you could split in into a 25-minute walk in the morning and a 20-minute workout around 6 PM or so.
By splitting your sessions, you’ll keep your metabolic rate constantly elevated. Your metabolism tapers down once your workout ends. If you train in the morning, by noon or so, your metabolism will start to dip. If you have another session in the early evening, you’ll rev up your metabolism again.
This will put your body in fat burning mode throughout the day. You will lose as much fat as possible during a given time period. Of course, you’ll need to eat clean and be at a caloric deficit.
If you have these 2 in place and you employ the cardio tips mentioned above, you can expect to see visible change in your body within 30 to 60 days, provided you train consistently.
Most women do lose some weight when starting off but they always regain the lost weight because they start skipping workouts and lose consistency. This is a cardinal error. Consistency is everything. If you’re persistent you’ll get it and if you’re consistent, you’ll keep it.