We’ve already proven that building muscle goes along with burning fat. High intensity cardio work does that very specific function, and one exercise that does this pretty well is high intensity interval training (HIIT). The movements in HIIT depend heavily on the legs, thus strengthening the glutes and dropping those calories. But we can improve our cardio routine with 14 tips that blast fat in due time:
1. Go all out with HIIT training
HIIT speeds up your metabolism and warms up your body quickly for a more in-depth workout. This may be sudden for starters, so we recommend alternating HIIT training and weight training every other day. All you need to do is to warm up with a cardio exercise (running, cycling, rowing, etc.). Then for 7 cycles, sprint as fast as you can for 20 seconds and walk for 10 seconds.
2. Regularly take in energy during workouts
While it’s not a good thing to exercise when your stomach is full, it’s also bad to run when you lack fuel. Doing HIIT on an empty stomach will reduce your efficiency. So make sure to fuel yourself by having a banana or a pre-workout drink 15 minutes before your cardio session.
3. Change your workout scenery–run on the sand
Running on sand is a different challenge compared to running on hard surfaces–even elevated ones. It changes volume with movement, so running on it will require more energy. So mix up your workout and take a weekly beach trip to go for a jog before rewarding yourself with swimming.
4. Vary your treadmill levels
Switching the intensity of your treadmill’s pace will improve your cardiovascular health. Alternate intense sprinting with low intensity, and add some elevations if you can.
5. Know what your training heart rate is
Knowing your heart rate zone allows optimal results in burning calories just right for your age. To learn what your ideal training heart rate is, use this formula:
Training Heart Rate = 220 – your age x 75%
But just go as fast as you can and don’t worry about not getting your exact ideal rate!
6. Make Use Of A Pedometer
Movement outside of exercising still counts. It improves your lifeline health and it doesn’t make too much of an effort! Make use of your pedometer and get 10,000 steps before going to bed. If you don’t have a pedometer, make use of your smartphone and/or smartwatch to track your physical activity.
7. When It Comes To Cardio, The More The Better
Try everything in one session! Instead of just spending 45 minutes on a treadmill, run on it for 15 minutes, use the elliptical for another 15, and row for the last set of cardio. Sticking to just one cardio will bore your mind and releases tension from long time spans of working out.
8. Get Into The Programs
Boot camp classes involve body weight exercises and non-stop drills. It burns a lot of calories when combined. If you’re not the treadmill type, this is for you! Sign up at your local kickboxing or circuit-training class and meet like-minded people with similar fitness goals.
9. Go Up And Down The Stairs
Running on stairs is an easy exercise you can incorporate in your daily life. Find a place that has around 30-50 steps, may it be your condo residence or your workplace’s building. For around 10-12 times, warm up with jogging, then sprint, and walk down. Hill running is a good alternative if there are no buildings around.
10. Wake Up To Warm Up
Doing cardio first thing in the morning releases endorphins and makes you feel great. Working out after calling it a day might not always be possible because you’re probably exhausted enough to skip it. Set your alarm at around 5 am to 7 am to allot time for working out.
11. Do Moderate Cardio On Empty Stomach
When you wake up immediately, you don’t exactly need to take in energy. However, you need to rehydrate regularly during your workouts. Afterwards, you need to eat a 50% carbohydrate, 30% protein meal at least 30 minutes after your session.
12. Utilize Cardio Periodization
Prevent burning out and straining yourself by taking a one-week break from intense cardio every 6 weeks, and replace it with low/moderate training.
13. Use Kettlebells
Throwing in kettlebell sessions adds variety to your workout routine. Perform two handle kettlebell swings for 20 reps, and alternate it with a set of pushups. Do this for 6 cycles to improve your VO2 and burning calories.
14. Carry Weight While Doing Cardio
Adding some weight to your body while doing cardio improves fast twitch muscle fiber recruitment. But don’t suddenly make changes–your body might get strained. Start light when wearing weight vests or ankle weights, then slowly add more resistance as you go on.
15. Use Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are a great, adaptable tool for whatever fitness level you’re in. Combining resistance bands with your cardio workout increases the challenge! Try doing the skating squats and squat hops plus press backs for a solid resistance band cardio workout. Using resistance bands whether they’re flat bands, loop bands or tube bands with handles, make any simple exercise challenging and breathtaking. Literally!