Exercise trends come and go more often than fashion trends. But the way the human body works doesn’t change. Here are eight common cardio mistakes to avoid.
1. Focusing On Cardio More Than Strength
Cardio is an important part of a fat loss program, but it’s not the only part. Strength training builds lean muscle, which boosts your metabolism. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will be able to burn.
2. Exhausting Your Energy Supply Before Strength Training
If you spend all your energy on an intense cardio workout, your body won’t have anything left to give for strength training. Consider splitting up your workout routine: cardio and weights on alternating days.
3. Aiming For A Specific Number Of Calories
Another common cardio mistake happens when you rely too heavily on the number of calories burned. The numbers on machines don’t always give you an accurate picture of your workout. A better way to measure the success of an exercise is to focus on intensity.
4. Staying In The Fat-Burning Zone
Most cardio machines have a “fat burning” zone indicator. But it’s actually not beneficial to weight loss to stay in that zone for the duration of your sweat session. Instead, work in intervals, from low to high intensity.
5. Working Out On An Empty Stomach
Your body needs food for energy. Exercising on an empty stomach is like driving a car with no gasoline. For the best results, have a light, healthy snack about an hour before your workout. Fruit and yogurt with granola is one great option. Here are some other ideas.
6. Training For A Race Without Mixing It Up
When you train, your body becomes accustomed to the exertion (this is how you gain endurance), meaning you burn fewer calories with each session. So instead of focusing only on running, include various types of workouts in your race day prep.
7. Routinely Splitting Up Cardio And Strength
We mentioned earlier that cardio and strength should be done on alternating days, but this applies to intense sessions. Performing low to moderate intensity cardio in the middle of your strength workout burns more calories.
8. Eating Everything In Sight
Some people (incorrectly) believe that as long as they’re doing cardio every day, they can eat whatever they choose. But weight loss is about expending more calories than you consume. If you burn 300 calories, but eat an extra 500, you won’t see a drop in body fat.
Support is vital for weight loss goals. Ralph Roberts focuses on creating plans that work with your lifestyle to get you real results. If you’re ready to take control of your health, give us a call.