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There are so many trends and approaches to get in shape, but one thing is a fact – you have to do cardio. It is necessary to burn calories and fat, necessary for endurance and essential for a healthy heart. Here are some ideas to make sure your cardio program is helping you achieve your goals.
Try something new:
We all tend to get into a routine. We use the same machine, for the same amount of time and move like robots through it. It is beneficial to try new machines and different forms of aerobic exercise. Why? First, the body tends to get used to things quickly so if you always do the same workout on the same machine you probably are not challenging yourself. Also, different forms of cardio use different muscles so when you create a variety in your workouts you are using more muscles and gaining more strength. Third, cross training (doing a variety of movements) will likely prevent injury since you will not over use the same muscles.
Have fun with it! Try a dance class, go to a boot camp and see how much you can sweat, try the machine you have always wanted to try but looks intimidating or go outside and see what it feels like to walk, run, swim or bike outdoors.
Frequency, Duration, Speed:
The key to increasing the intensity of an aerobic workout is to continue to challenge yourself. Here is a simple way to look at it.
So, what is one thing you can do this year to improve your cardio routine? Have fun, break a sweat and go get em!
Jae Berman, MS, RD, CSSD, serves as the Regional Registered Dietitian of The San Francisco Bay Club. As the nutrition expert and dietician for Western Athletic Clubs, she thrives on helping people live healthier, stronger, more confident lives. With an extensive education in nutrition, Jae has been featured as an expert in Shape Magazine, Better Homes & Garden and more. Her background is in sports nutrition, weight loss counseling and disease management. She is also a personal trainer and yoga and Pilates instructor. Jae earned a master’s degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and completed her dietetic internship at UCSF Medical Center.