Cardio workouts have their place. A lot of people look at their cardio workouts as a weight loss tool only. Sure, cardio can help your weight loss effort, but the real benefit is to develop your heart and lungs, improving your energy and making your daily activity more efficient.
The body is a pretty amazing system. When you’re beginning your workout program, you might be able to only do 20 minutes at a moderately elevated heart rate. As health and function improves, you’ll be able to more work with the same effort. Many people hit a plateau with their cardio workout (and their resistance workout) where they’re comfortable and stay there though. I see people doing the same workout at the same pace and same intensity. At one time it might have taken their body 300 calories to perform that effort. Now that they’ve improved it might only require 250 calories.
Looking to bust through that plateau and make a difference? Try changing your intensity with interval workouts.
First, make sure you’ve built up a sufficient cardio base. After your warm up, bring your heart rate up to 65%-75% of your max for 5 minutes. Next, crank up the intensity to 85% of max for one minute. Repeat this cycle 3-5 times and then cool down. Try this once a week. If you have any heart or other medical conditions, make sure you’ve been cleared first.
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