Cardio Tips and Tricks

Doctors often urge us to get at least half an hour of aerobic exercise three times a week. This is usually some sort of cardio workout, or a routine designed to increase heart rate and burn a significant number of calories. They can increase your lifespan and help you lose weight if that is your goal.

However, there is often some confusion about these plans as well as a few tips that could make the exercises more useful and valuable. There may also be a few things that you need to learn before hitting the gym.

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic: Until I began my weight loss experience, I’d heard that if you went into the anaerobic state you weren’t doing yourself any favors, but I wasn’t really sure what that meant. Aerobics burn more fat and calories than anaerobic. The latter is slow to do any of the things you want your workout to provide.

Duration and intensity are what make the difference here. A longer session at medium intensity will ultimately be better for your body and do the things you want done. Short, intense bursts are not likely to be as useful.

CardioCinema: The concept of this is something I have used in the past. I had an exercise bike, and I’d use it while watching television or a DVD. However, some gyms now have a more cinema like atmosphere, with exercise bikes and treadmills, a darkened room and interesting movies. If you’re like me, getting absorbed in a movie while working out will make the time fly by.

Learn the Machines: Today’s equipment comes with a lot of bells and whistles. They can monitor your heart rate through the handles, set you up with programs that simulate going uphill and show you how many calories you’ve burned thus far. However, because they are so complicated, it might be a good idea to ask one of the trainers to show you how to use it properly. Getting injured would be a major setback.

Proper Nutrition: You’ve got to have an appropriate diet to go along with your workout. That means you have to eat, but make it healthy. Before a workout, it’s a good idea to have some lean protein. If you’re planning on along session, a few healthy carbs are a good idea, as well.

To Supplement or not to Supplement: With apologies to Shakespeare, this is a big question. Not only whether or not to use them, which to use. The answer to this depends in large part on your overall health and what you want to accomplish. Personally, the only supplements I use are vitamins, garlic and Omega-3s. If you are underweight, you may want to add whey protein to the list.

Some body builders use a supplement with creatine in it. It has its pros and cons, and you will have to decide if the cons are worth the pros. It can help you build muscles faster than normal. For many, that’s enough. However, it can also cause extreme irritability and kidney damage. Those under eighteen cannot purchase it, and most sales clerks will caution parents that purchase it for their children of the dangers.

Weights First: Want your workout to have more punch? Spend some time with the weight machine first. You can also use aquatics for this, as the resistance of the water can do the same thing.

Before beginning any new routine, be sure to check with your doctor. You should have a complete physical, in order to find out which types of cardio will fit your needs the best. Be sure to mention any health concerns you may already have and to tell the doctor of any medications or supplements you are using. This could help prevent injuries from side tracking your plans.