Are you trying to lose weight?
Most of us know the trick is to consume less calories than we burn. This can be accomplished by either eating less, exercising more (burning more calories) or a combination of both.
(And let’s not forget the power of weight training to increase our metabolism. But that’s for another day.)
Today we’re talking about cardio.
Cardio is the component of exercise that works the heart and lungs and burns the most calories.
When you’re doing cardio – whether it’s walking (if you’re fast enough), riding a bike, running, swimming, on an elliptical machine (you get the picture, the options are vast) – your heart should be pumping and you should be sweating and breathing hard. You want to get your heart rate up enough to really activate that calorie burn!
I recommend to all my clients, once they’re used to cardio, to add interval training to their workout. Interval training means that you boost your intensity, no matter what form of exercise, for 10-30 seconds. Say you’re walking. You want to be walking at a pace that is difficult to talk and you’re breathing hard. Once you’re there, increase your pace. Maybe run to the corner, or that tree up ahead. Or walk up a hill fast. Whatever works for you. Then decrease your pace to what it was. Not slower. Continue to do intervals during your exercise session for as long as you can.
Intervals are fun – they break up the routine – and they increase your cardio fitness level quicker than steady state exercise does.
So find your favorite way to burn calories. You’ll feel better (think endorphins), your heart and lungs will thank you and you’ll meet your weight loss goals quicker!