You probably already know that incorporating cardio exercises into your daily routine is one of the best ways to burn fat.
Cardio exercises are helpful, whether you want to lose weight, burn fat, improve your health – or all three. There are plenty of choices for cardio exercising, indoors and outdoors.
Walking, jogging, running, cycling, high-intensity aerobic intervals, Tabata and elliptical interval workouts are just some examples.
As weight gain is linked to different types of health problems, from diabetes to heart disease, more and more people are relying on cardio exercises to help them lose weight faster. But just doing cardio exercises is not enough.
You need to do your cardio workouts properly to reap the benefits. Along with that, a good diet and a healthy lifestyle are a must for a healthy and fit body.
So, if you want to burn fat or drop a few pounds, be sure to do it correctly.
Here are the top 10 cardio tips to help you lose weight faster.
1. Warm Up First
Before you start your cardio exercise, it is recommended to do at least a 5-minute warm-up session.
Warm-up exercises promote blood flow throughout the body, including your muscles. It also prepares your heart for the impending exertion.
Another benefit of warming up is that it increases your body temperature, which in turn flushes your body with healthy oxygen that is essential for an effective workout session. This will ultimately help you lose weight more effectively and even prevent workout-related injuries.
2. Cool Down After the Workout
When your cardio workout is over, avoid rushing to take a quick shower and run off to work. Instead, give your body time to cool down.
Remember that cooling down after a workout is as important as warming up. After physical activity, your heart is still beating faster than normal, your body temperature is higher and your blood vessels are dilated. When you cool down after physical activity, it allows your body temperature to return to normal.
When you warm up and cool down properly, it will help you burn more calories when you are working out.
For cooling down, lie down for some time and practice deep breathing.
3. Stretch Properly
Doing cardio exercises promotes weight loss by increasing muscular activity and forcing your body to burn calories. To reap these benefits, stretching is a must.
Stretching before a workout flexes your muscles and promotes movement through them. This means you’ll be able to move freely during your cardio exercise. It also helps your muscles build more strength during weight training and keeps your muscles strong.
In addition, it helps your body prepare for activity and lowers your risk for exercise-related injuries.
After your workout, do some stretching again. This can help reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which can lead to painful muscle cramps and stiffness.
4. Add Variety
Doing the same cardio exercises daily will not help you lose weight.
When you perform the same exercises every day, your body gets used to it, leading to little or no weight loss. Moreover, it can lead to muscle development in some areas of the body more than others.
Additionally, following the same exercise routine leads to boredom and soon you stop doing it.
The solution is to avoid doing the same cardio exercises repeatedly and include a variety of exercises in your routine.
5. Do Some Exercise During Weekends
After following a strict exercise routine all week, do not get lazy during the weekend. This can significantly slow down your weight loss efforts.
While it is true that during the weekend you probably want a break from your intense cardio routine, there are still many fun activities that don’t seem like exercise but help burn fat. For example, visit a nearby beach and enjoy running on the sand or some swimming. Also, you can ride your bicycle and explore new areas of your neighborhood.
Just look around and you can find many ways to include some exercise in your life, especially during the weekend.
6. Give Intensity Priority
When it comes to cardio exercises for weight loss, many people take up running. If you also prefer to run to lose weight, make the “intensity of running” first priority, not distance.
It is the intensity of your running that will help you reach your weight loss target. So, instead of sticking to the long, slow, steady running, add some high-intensity intervals to your running routine.
This can be easily done by jogging at your normal pace for 60 seconds, then increase the speed for 30 seconds. Carry on your running session following this pattern for about 30 minutes or as your fitness levels allow.
Always remember that high-intensity intervals will help your body burn more fat after your workout, too.
7. Eat Before an Intense Cardio Workout
If you have a habit of not eating before intense cardio workouts, then you may not reap the benefits.
Doing cardio on an empty stomach may cause a lack of the energy necessary to challenge your body properly. To keep your energy level high, eat something before starting your intense cardio workout.
However, this does not mean that you need to have a full meal. All you need is a small snack that won’t weigh you down. Ideally, eat a low-calorie healthy snack that will boost your energy, such as a protein bar or a banana. Also, do not forget to drink water to prevent dehydration.
8. Choose the Right Apparel and Shoes
To increase your pace or speed during your cardio session, it is important to choose the right apparel and shoes.
Whether your cardio workout involves running, walking, sports or gym equipment, a decent pair of sports shoes is a must. Wearing the right shoes while doing intense exercise will reduce the risk of injuring yourself. Remember that injury caused by inappropriate shoes can needlessly derail your fitness or weight loss attempt.
Like shoes, your clothes and gear can also help keep you comfortable. Always wear lightweight clothes that help absorb sweat.
9. Drink Water
When you are doing an intense cardio workout, your body is sweating and losing water. To help your body recover, it is important to drink water more often.
If you do not drink enough water, chances are high that you can become dehydrated, increasing your blood pressure and reducing your cardiac output, which lowers the amount of oxygen getting to your muscles. This, in turn, means your body will become highly inefficient and will not benefit from the workout session, meaning you will not be able to reach your weight loss target.
So, before you start your cardio session, sip some water. Also, sip water from time to time throughout your workout.
10. Never Skip Meals
Another tip to help you lose weight faster is to never skip meals. Instead, focus on eating healthy.
To promote faster weight loss, follow a low-carbohydrate and low-calorie diet. Your diet should be full of nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Foods like fruits, starchy vegetables, and dairy products, contain a lot of vital nutrients and should be included in your diet.
At the same time, eat the right types of fat. There are a few different types of dietary fat that you can consume. Choose heart-healthy foods that are higher in unsaturated fats and omega-3 fats like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna or sardines), olives or olive oil, nuts and nut butters, flaxseeds, and avocados.
Another important tip is to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day to avoid blood sugar spikes and minimize urges to binge.