Ah, cardio, the bane of gym rats everywhere. For people not looking for bulk, however, cardio is an invaluable tool to sculpting out the perfect summer bod. Apart from shredding fat, cardio plays an important role in producing lean muscle mass.
The key to burning fat and gaining said muscle mass is to constantly bombard your body with challenges that are also fun to do.
Fun is a major factor in cardio simply because its effectiveness scales up with the duration of your preferred exercise.
One of the best exercises for the entire body and the most fun by far. Swimming immerses your body in a faux weightless environment, this eases up stress on all of your joints while working the entirety of your body.
These factors also affect the duration of the workout, simply because most of the stress factors of i.e. running are eliminated, letting your body focus all of its energy on the task at hand.
It is worth noting that switching up strokes in-between laps will activate more muscle groups and chisel the body to perfection.
Amp up the resistance
If swimming isn’t your thing, not to fret, there are other options out there. If the gym is more your thing, there is machinery specifically designed to up the ante and push user’s bodies to the limit.
Love the treadmill? Increase the resistance.
The trick is to avoid falling into a loop, it is imperative to increase the difficulty the moment we feel our bodies have adjusted to the level we’re on. The gist it is, resistance and duration both play a role in burning fat, both of them are important and striking a nice balance between the two will do wonders.
Using kettlebells is nothing new, they provide a different grip and attack the entirety of the body in simple yet effective exercises. Practicing the swing, snatch and/or the clean and jerk exercises engages the entire body and provides a much more demanding, high-intensity workout.
Apart from burning calories, these exercises also improve balance and core strength while raising aerobic performance substantially.
Kettlebells are best used in short burst, giving it everything you have in short intervals. This greatly shortens the time spent exercising while maximizing the benefits on all fronts, not just cardio.
If stepping outside is more your thing, then you have two options, one of which is the old favorite – running. With basically no investment apart from a pair of running shoes, running builds endurance and doesn’t require warm weather or a pool pass like swimming.
By alternating intensity between running sessions, the body will be forced to adapt to various forms of stress, as opposed to constantly running a set amount. The benefits of running outweigh the drawbacks by such a staggering amount make it one of the most popular cardio options of today.
Whether taking a leisurely ride through the city or preparing for the Tour De France, bikes are your best friend. Taking out the joint stress of running while giving people an effective means of transport at the same time.
A bike ride does wonders for the heart, hand-eye coordination, balance, muscle strength and flexibility, burning fat and even posture.
Investing in a proper bicycle can take its toll, but it provides an eco-friendly, low-maintenance exercise machine and method of transport, and you can easily find bikes for sale online.
There is a reason for the expression “like riding a bike”: Once you experience it, you will never forget it.
To sum up
The world is full of excellent choices for cardio, all of them with prevailing strengths and minor drawbacks. Whatever your preference may be, from swimming to riding a bike, remember to alternate from time to time.
Like with all things in life, too much of the same thing can backfire and this is why combining all of these would be a step in the right direction.
At the end of the day, it’s up to us to keep our training regimes going and keep ourselves on the right path by mixing it up and, more importantly, never giving up.
What’s your favorite form of cardio?
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