Latest Articles

September 27, 2007

Top 10 Cardio Mistakes You're Making

By Dana Laurier

Cardio exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and weight loss. But more often than not, most women tend to commit some serious cardio mistakes when performing their cardio workouts.

Are you guilty of committing any of the following cardio mistakes when you work out?

Cardio Mistakes #10
Doing high intensity throughout
A high intensity workout burns more calories than low intensity workouts, no doubt, but if your objective is to burn more calories from fat, constant high intensity is not the way you want to go.

You can opt to maintain your “target” fat-burning heart range, which is your maximum heart rate (220 – your age x 65%). For instance, a 30-year old woman’s target fat-burning range is 220 – 30 = 190 x .65 = 123.5 beats per minute. A heart rate monitor would be your best bet for making sure you maintain your target heart rate.

You can also opt to go the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) route, which involves moving at a normal pace for two minutes and then speeding things up to the maximum you can go for one minute. Do this for 30 minutes.

Cardio Mistakes #9
Dressing to sweat

Some women believe that if they sweat more, they’re burning more calories and more fat. Dressing like it’s winter to run on a treadmill will not help you burn more calories from fat; it will simply deplete your body of water and the second you do drink water, all the “weight” will return.

Dress comfortably to workout and forget about increasing your sweat capability.

Cardio Mistakes #8
Doing more than 60 minutes

It takes 20 minutes before your body begins to head into the fat stores for calorie consumption, but after 60 minutes of cardio exercise, your body starts to eat away at the protein and muscle in your body, and that is not what you want to be doing.

Don’t waste your time doing more than an hour of cardio a day, and give your body time to recuperate by eating and sleeping well.

Cardio Mistakes #7
Holding weights
I see women holding 5 pounds weights while they walk on a treadmill and although they think they’re building muscle while they burn calories, all they’re really doing is slowly tearing away at their shoulder muscles.

If you want to add weight to your body while you perform your cardio exercise, wear a weighted vest, a backpack with weights in it or put on some ankle weights. Don’t hold weights in your hands; let your body take on the weight instead.

Cardio Mistakes #6
Leaning on the machines
How often have you seen someone on the stair machine holding onto it for dear life as they step away with their heels barely touching the pedals? Not only are they not doing the exercise right, they’re fooling themselves into thinking that the calories the machine says they’re burning are spot on.

Whenever you do any cardio exercise, whether it be cycling, walking, jogging, or climbing stairs, make sure that you maintain proper form throughout. If you need to lean on the machine for more than a few seconds at a time, lower the speed.

Cardio Mistakes #5
Not personalizing the machine
When you use any machine, it should fit your body type. And considering we are not all built the same, chances are that the person who used it before you isn’t your exact height.

Make the necessary adjustments to the machine so that you’re height corresponds to the machine (on the bicycle, for instance). You need to feel comfortable on the machine you choose.

Cardio Mistakes #4
Not using your entire body
The recumbent bike doesn’t allow for much upper body movement (if any at all), you should use machines that call your entire body into play.

When you walk on a treadmill swing your arms, when you jog, make fists, bend your elbows and swing your arms. Make an effort to get your entire body involved.

Cardio Mistakes #3
Upping the speed not the resistance

I bet you think that, as you improve and your cardio workout gets easier, you should increase the speed and begin moving more quickly. And although that’s not completely wrong, you may actually tire yourself out too quickly by doing so.

Opt instead to increase the incline or difficulty level rather than the speed. This provides just as much challenge without making you feel winded.

Cardio Mistakes #2
Not entering your weight
Do you get on the cardio machine of your liking and press “Start,” without entering any personal information? If so, the calories being burned are not accurate. And although they cannot be completely accurate either way (the machine doesn’t know you personally), entering at least your weight into it helps to make it slightly more accurate.

Cardio Mistakes #1
Not wearing the right shoes

If you wear designer running shoes to the gym, you’re doing yourself a major injustice. To begin, bad shoes may result in injury. As well, when you run, the pressure you put on your feet is three to four times your actual body weight.

Purchase shoes for a specific activity and try them on in the afternoon, when your feet tend to be at their most swollen.
No more cardio mistakes

Now get out there and start burning the calories you need to burn to achieve the body you want.

No comments:


AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Add to Google

Powered by FeedBurner