Maximizing your cardio sessions requires understanding your goals. Are you trying to lose weight, improve your overall health, or train for a specific sport? While there’s a growing trend towards using cardio for weight loss, many people lack guidance on how to approach their workouts.
It’s all too common for people to start jogging or using machines without understanding the mechanics of their cardio workouts. Simply sweating isn’t an accurate measure of energy expended. Harder and faster isn’t always better either. In fact, excess exertion can lead to burning muscle instead of fat.
To maximize your results, it’s important to know how hard to push yourself. Athletes in track and field may run and lift to the maximum extent their bodies can handle, but they often have less muscle mass than bodybuilders. Knowing your target rate of exertion is key to achieving your cardio goals.
To achieve weight loss goals, any form of cardio exercise can be effective, as long as it is done consistently. The most efficient level of effort for weight loss is determined by your heart rate, and maintaining a consistent heart rate for a sustained period is the key to achieving faster results. Over-exerting yourself may seem like a shortcut, but consistent cardio performed at the optimal level of effort will yield better weight loss outcomes in the long run.
Improving comfort is key to ensuring consistency over time in your cardio routine. If you find yourself miserable with one type of cardio, switch to something that is more comfortable for you. This will help you maintain your optimal heart rate longer and prevent burnout.
For wheelchair users, there are several effective cardio exercises that can be done, such as:
Another way to combine muscle stimulation and cardio is to do supersets and combo sets while lifting weights.
Remember that diet is essential for wheelchair users because they may not burn as many calories as someone who is walking. Targeting your heart rate during your cardio workout is important, and it’s recommended to not go longer than an hour per session unless you’re training for something specific. Always warm up for 5 minutes before starting your workout.
One helpful tip is to do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This can help you burn fat more efficiently and increase the fat-burning process, leading to quicker results.