Cardiovascular exercise is necessary for most of us in our quest to achieving the lean bodybuilding look that we are looking for. Few can achieve the lean appearance required to see a full six pack of abs without cardio. In addition to fat burning, cardiovascular exercise offers many benefits such as an improved glucose metabolism as well as a lowered heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Now that we know why we need cardio, let’s look at ways to make it more enjoyable and effective
1. Choose an Activity That You Like
While this may seem rather obvious, many people completely miss the boat on this one. Choosing an activity that you like will ensure that you keep doing it long term. There are many choices to pick from such as walking on the pavement, treadmill, an elliptical machine, stair stepper, recumbent bike, aerobics video, etc. Just choose your weapon of choice and go for it!
2. Choose Some Good Music
You may not know but if you choose some good music you could burn more calories during activity than if you didn’t. It also seems to give you a larger pain tolerance as my mind is concentrated on the music and not on what the body is feeling.
3. Perform Cardio in Mornings or On an Empty Stomach
Perform cardio first thing in the morning before breakfast or on an empty stomach this is because Glycogen levels (stored carbohydrates) are lower at these times, and thus, it is easier for the body to access fat stores. If not possible, then perform the activity 2-1/2 hours after a meal so that your blood glucose levels are not so high that all you burn during the activity is carbs. Note: even if carbs is all you burned, those are calories that would not have been burned otherwise so you are still benefiting.
4. Don’t Stick To The Same Exercise Or The Same Amount Of Time
Your body thrives on change. Do the same thing all the time and not only you get bored but also your body stops responding as it adapts! Once you are more advanced, make sure that you have 3 cardiovascular activities that you like so that you cycle them on almost a daily basis. In addition, feel free to do some days of 20 minutes at a very challenging pace and other days of 45 minutes at a more moderate level. Variety is the spice of life!