Did you know that over 40% of US adults are obese? As a result, many people focus on cardio to help aid with their weight loss. However, many people also make common cardio mistakes when performing their weekly cardio routine.
We’ve put together a brief guide that has everything you need to know. Let’s dive in.
1. Doing Too Much Cardio
As you might guess, doing too much of a good thing can be detrimental. Too much cardio can tire you out and make you quit altogether, or it may lead to injury if not done properly.
Many people make the mistake of doing grueling cardio sessions that last for well over an hour. Unfortunately, you will reach a point of diminishing returns if you do too much. This applies to both the length and frequency of your cardio sessions.
2. Doing the Same Workout Every Time
Your body is incredibly adaptive and it quickly adjusts to new stimuli. This means that if you consistently do the same workout, your body will become accustomed to it and won’t burn as many calories over time.
To combat this, mix up your exercises by alternating between running, biking, swimming, rowing, or any other cardio exercises you can think of. Using a jump rope, for example, is a convenient and effective way to get a cardio workout in.
3. Not Taking Rest Days
Rest is just as important as exercise when it comes to weight loss, so be sure to not skip out on rest days! Going too hard without giving your body time to recover can lead to fatigue and injury, both of which will derail your weight loss efforts.
For instance, you may develop issues with your joints that prevent you from doing cardio as frequently as you would like.
Make sure to take at least one day off of cardio each week. However, you should make an effort to listen to your body. If you are overly sore on a particular day, it’s more than likely a good idea to take that day off.
4. Not Keeping Track of Your Progress
This is such an important step in any weight loss journey! Keeping track of your progress can help you stay on track with your goals and even boost motivation. Make sure to take note of how many calories you burn, the intensity of your workouts, and other vital metrics that can help inform your progress.
This will also help you have a better idea of how far you’ve come over a long period of time. It can sometimes be disheartening if you have recently experienced poor performance. However, not all progress is linear. There will be times when you are injured, sore, or sick.
Tracking your progress will allow you to look past these setbacks and focus on your future goals.
5. Not Properly Fueling Your Body
Proper nutrition is key to any successful weight loss journey.
Make sure to fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods and stay hydrated before, during, and after your workouts for optimal performance. It’s also important to incorporate carbohydrates into your diet.
Many people believe that carbohydrates are a source of body fat, but this nutrient helps fuel your body for physical activity. As long as you consume them in moderation, you shouldn’t have any issues.
6. Wearing the Wrong Shoes
It may not seem like a big deal, but the shoes you wear for your cardio workouts can make or break your progress. Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly can lead to injury and even fatigue.
Invest in a pair of quality running or cross-training shoes and make sure to replace them every 500-600 miles. Otherwise, the cushioning and support will wear down, making them less effective.
Eventually, this could lead to injury.
7. Not Drinking Enough Water
Interestingly, research shows that even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and impair physical performance. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before and after your workouts.
Dehydration can also wreak havoc on your digestive system, making it harder for you to lose weight.
8. Not Focusing on Intensity
When it comes to cardio, intensity is key. Low-intensity exercise doesn’t burn as many calories per minute and will not lead to significant weight loss over time.
Instead, opt for moderate or high-intensity workouts which can help you lose weight faster while also providing other health benefits. You can also incorporate cardio workouts that have undulating levels of intensity.
For instance, you might start off with medium intensity before moving to a brief period of low intensity. Then, you could ramp up to high intensity before dropping back down to medium.
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Avoiding Common Cardio Mistakes Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming
Initially, navigating around common cardio mistakes may seem daunting. The good news is that the guide above has everything you need to know to make the process simple.