How to Get the Most from Your Cardio Workouts

cardio-workoutsGetting the most out of your workouts means more than just showing up to the gym or taking a walk around the block. If not done right, you could literally work out for months without anything to show for it. Here’s a guide to getting the very most from every part of every workout.

Before Your Workout

First, decide if you are a morning, lunchtime, or afternoon/evening workout person. Once you set a schedule, treat it as a longstanding, important appointment like you would with anybody else.

Don’t eat heavy meals before working out; you want your blood to be available for your muscles, heart, and lungs – not your stomach! Also, make sure you drink a couple of cups of water or a sports drink before exercising. Dehydration, even mild, can make exercise harder.

During Your Workout

Be present in your workout! In other words, no cell phones, no magazines, no books while you exercise. Why? Because climbing onto a piece of exercise equipment and spending an hour on it while reading a magazine and never breaking a sweat is one of the least efficient ways to burn calories and get into shape. Focus on repetitive intervals of training hard and then recovering. Breathe deeply – that’s what stokes the body to burn calories – and concentrate on correct form and using as many groups of muscles as you can.