How To Improve Your Cardio

While most of the gyms are closed worldwide, there are tons of other ways to stay fit while being at home. In this guide, we hope to encourage you to work out while being at home and inspire you to do different activities. It can be fun to work out in different manners than you are maybe used to and it can really strengthen your body and stamina. We’ll hopefully give you loads of tips pertaining to running and cardio.

Running tips

Be realistic

Lower your expectations a little bit if you are untrained – forget about running a marathon that should not be your focus for now (unless you are very experienced and have been running for months!). Remember that it can take years for your body to get used to running; if you don’t you can easily get injured and be sidelined for weeks. Listen to the signals of your body. Pain is a bad sign and be patient. It’s definitely recommended to take breaks if you feel an injury coming.

Schedule ahead

Incorporate running as a fixed component of your workout plan so that you have planned your running on certain days. That should entail that you get out on your routes, also on those days where you’re not really motivated.

Make demands of your equipment

Pick a wind deflecting jacket with good breathing. You will thank yourself! Furthermore, you should consider getting comfortable running shoes that offer good springs. Your knees and feet will definitely benefit. Remember to choose shoes that fit your feet exactly.

Eat correctly

The last meal should be consumed 90 minutes before your workout. Many people even prefer to do it before 90 minutes, but the best you can do is to try yourself. It isn’t recommended to do it within the 90 minutes because the digestion of the food is likely to end up uncomfortable for you while running.

If you’re on a long distance run for more than an hour or two, remember your carbs and electrolytes.

Drink enough fluid

You can lose up to two liters of fluids per hour when you run. If your body lacks fluid your physical performance will decrease. For the same reasons it is important to refuel sufficiently. Stick to water. Sweet fluids won’t digest as good since it will just slop around in your stomach before it will come out to the working muscles.

Allow plenty of time

It’s a great idea to stretch before and after the workout. Even though opinions diverge around whether stretching actually counteracts soreness, it can never harm. Furthermore, it can increase your mobility if you are diligent which increases speed.

Getting Started with Aerobic Exercise

Pick the type of aerobic exercise you enjoy most

Working out will be easier, and you will get better results, if you choose an aerobic activity you enjoy. Add a variety of exercises to your routine so that your body never gets too comfortable and accustomed to one type of exercise. This allows you to constantly change and improve.

Vary your workout length depending on your fitness level

The fitter you are, the longer and more frequently you will have to workout to continue to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Base the intensity of your workout on your heart rate

When doing continuous aerobic exercise, try to keep you hear rate within your target zone in order to maximize the benefit you receive from the workout.

Don’t forget to warm up and cool down

Warming up helps to prevent injuries and helps your body transition efficiently from a low metabolic state (burning fewer calories per minute) to a high one (burning more calories per minute). Cooling down helps bring blood that has been sent to working muscles back into normal circulation, and will reduce aches and the potential for cramping.

Add to your workouts slowly

Muscles and joints take longer to adapt to the stress of exercise than your heart and lungs, so to avoid injury, do not increase your time or distance by more than 10 to 20% each week. For example, if you start out exercising for 10 minutes each session, add only 1 or 2 minutes a week for the first few weeks, even if you feel you could progress more quickly. Adding too many workouts, or types of workouts too soon can cause over training and can lead to injury and even illness.

Recovery

Allow extra rest days

Don’t be a slave of your own program. Prioritize an extra day of rest if your body is tired or sore. It can be an amazing investment if it helps you prevent long term injury or illness. Listen to your body if you’re sore and test it in the following way: Begin the scheduled run. If the soreness disappears within 10-15 minutes of a light warmup, then go on. If it doesn’t, then turn back.

Eat smart

A diet rich in berries, vegetables, ginger, and a lot of healthy fats. Your nutrition will boost the body’s ability to recover and reduce the inflammation in joints and muscles. That means less soreness and injuries. Remember your post workout meal. You will need carbohydrates and protein within the first hour of your workout. An efficient way to consume your protein is through protein powder which is highly recommended. Protein consumed through liquid vs solid form digests better and aids recovery faster. Not to mention a vegan protein powder is a good light snack which keeps you filled.

Alternative workout

Running is tough for joints and fibres in legs and feet. If you’re sore in a bad way, then don’t hesitate to cancel your scheduled run and work out alternatively. That can be through weights, on the bike or at a swimming facility. Find something you find funny and interesting which will increase your pulse without burdening your legs.

Sleep more

The body’s reconditioning is firing on all cylinders while we are sleeping. Prioritise your sleep especially on the days where you have worked out hard. Regardless of how much sleep you need (8 hours is usually recommended),make sure that your sleep is of high quality. Sleep in a dark and chilly room.

Using Technology to Improve your Fitness

Use technology to help you stay on track

Heart rate monitors have come a long way! They now can track your steps, your heart rate, your nutrition, your sleep and more. These are a great way to customize your workouts and tailor them to what your body needs. In addition to tools like a heart rate monitor, there are a variety of different tools available to help you set and meet your work out goals. Studies show that smartphone apps and exercise trackers can help to improve fitness.

Get a heart rate monitor

To workout efficiently, it is helpful to have a heart rate monitor.

Use a smartphone app to keep track of your workouts

Motivation is the main factor in improving cardiovascular fitness. Smartphone workout tracker apps have been shown to increase motivation and to provide results similar to going to a gym regularly. They can do everything from suggesting workouts, to tracking your progress during a run, to providing a place to record workouts.

Use a fitness tracker to motivate you

Fitness trackers are devices that you wear on you, and which keep track of the number of steps you take, the number of stairs you climb, and in some cases, your heart rate as well. They allow you to set goals you wish to reach each day. The have been shown to encourage increased activity and thereby improve cardiovascular health. Particularly for those who are just starting out in their fitness routine, they can provide an easy way to make sure you are getting the exercise you need.

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