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Fat Burning Secrets For Cardio Workouts
Lets face it, most of us live pretty busy lives and the amount of time spent exercising does eat up what little free time a lot of us have. I don't like to waste my free time anymore than anyone else so if I am going to use it up on an activity, I feel the rewards of the activity should out way the cost.
That being said, one of the activities that I add to my workout routines is a cardio program. I'll be blunt in stating that I love to lift weights but I absolutely loathe doing cardio. I personally do not enjoy cardio at all but I do understand how it is very important to my workout regimen. So, if I am going to invest my time in a cardio routine, you better believe I am going to make sure that I am maximizing the benefit of that routine.
There's a lot of great cardio equipment out there and I personally use a variety of them ranging anywhere from treadmills, to exercise bikes to stair steppers and more. My main focus for this article will be treadmills since they appear to be the most popular of the cardio equipment. However the same principles can be applied to other cardio equipment too.
Slow down, it's not a race
I have found that I burn fatter moving at a moderate pace than an all out sprint. When you go out at a 100% you burn more glycogen than fat. Basically your burning carbohydrates instead of your fat stores. The idea to effectively burn fat is to go at a moderate pace for a longer period of time.
Moderate pace means just that, not too fast and not too slow. On a treadmill I like to walk at a fast enough pace where I am building up a sweat but I could also hold a conversation without panting. The keyword here is walk, I believe that once you start jogging and running you are really moving away from the optimal fat burning pace.
Short and sweet isn't the key
Your cardio time should range anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. However, I also believe that your body can only take so much exercise at a time. Therefore if you plan on an hour and a half cardio session I would recommend splitting up your cardio into two sessions: one for the morning and then one in the evening. I have tested all types of cardio durations and workout times on my own body and found that a good 40 to 45 minute session in the morning works the best for me.
If you're going to do it, do it right
Always perform a full range of motion on your exercise equipment. Don't cheat yourself by taking baby steps. On the treadmill take long strides instead of short little steps. By taking the longer strides you will work the hamstrings and glutes (back of the leg and buttocks) more.
In addition to talking longer strides try to avoid holding on to the rails of the treadmill. Let your arms move back and forth as you would when running. You will be surprised of the difference of not holding on to the exercise equipment if you are already use to holding on to the treadmill, stair stepper or any other exercise equipment while performing the exercise.
If you don't believe me, try it out for one workout and I promise you will feel the difference in a matter of minutes.
Note: If you feel that you must hold on to avoid falling or getting hurt then by all means hold on.
I like to take deep breaths in the nose and out the mouth when doing cardio exercise. I find that I focus more on the activity at hand when I concentrate on my breathing. I also have found that I sweat more too. I know it sounds crazy but give it a try and I bet you will notice a difference too.
Note: Not over exaggerated deep breathes but not short breaths either.
Tying it all together
I conclusion I personally feel that if I am going to add cardio to my workout routine then I want to do whatever it takes to maximize the workouts benefits. I have personally found that I more efficiently burn body fat by slowing my pace down, increasing my cardio workouts over a longer duration, using full range of motion on the equipment and breathing correctly. Go ahead and give these ideas a try and see if they work for you too.
Gerald Gore is the owner of the online fitness review site One4Fitness. For more health and fitness related tips and reviews on workout equipment visit Gerald's site at http://www.one4fitness.com.
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