One of the most dreaded groups of exercises on this planet has to be cardio. It seems so simple and elegant to just tell someone that they should be doing more cardio. More cardio means more weight loss, endurance, stamina, and fitness, right? Well, yes and no. “Yes” for some people who are either blessed with a heart of a lion or have been performing cardio for a while, and “No” for those who are new to it.
In order to reap the maximum benefits from cardio, you have to perform it on a regular basis. When it comes to cardio or any even other forms of exercise, consistency is key. However, what makes consistency in cardio an impossible feat to achieve is a feeling of impending doom. Most people who aren’t used to exerting their cardiac muscles find the experience of doing cardio to be a near-death one. Puking, fainting, and feeling sick are some of the most common beginner problems.
If you’ve been wondering “Why is my cardio so bad?”, then the good news is that you’re not alone. Most people go out for a run and see all these amazing people running effortlessly while they struggle to keep pace. This creates a false perception in their minds that cardio is easy for others but not for them. The people you see running every day in the nearby park have most likely been doing it consistently for years. Is there a fix? Sure. Will you have to put in some effort initially? Doubly sure.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the nuances of cardio that most newbies don’t know about. We’ll see how many kinds of cardio are out there and what you need to do so that you can keep space with everyone else. So without further ado, let’s get started and fix your cardio complex.
Are You Taking It Easy?
The number one myth among the minds of the newbies is that they need to be going hard and strong if they want to build any endurance at all. This is something that’s the result of poor education about fitness and health in general. People don’t even know how their own hearts work and they end up exhausting their most versatile organ- the heart.
The heart can keep on beating for more than 100 years in exceptional cases and this shows how strong it actually is. There’s no break for your heart since the only time your heart stops beating is when you’re laying in a coffin. The intent of this example isn’t to make you feel depressed, rather, it’s to make you understand how much work the heart can do continuously.
All you need to do is train it according to what you want and you’ll develop great stamina soon enough. Don’t be one of those people who start their runs at maximum speed and can be found flailing their arms like a tube man outside a retail establishment. Start slow and don’t be ashamed if others perform better than you. This mentality of trying to keep pace with those far more advanced than you will only lead to one thing- exhaustion.
Once you’re exhausted and demotivated, chances are that you won’t be pleased to perform cardio again. This is why you should start slow and increase the intensity only gradually, even if you feel like you can handle much more. This will make your heart perform optimally in the aerobic zone and will eventually build your stamina.
Are You Taking It Too Easy?
There are times when you need to go slow and there are times when you need to ramp up the pace. We know that we told you to take it easy, however, cardio isn’t all about steady-state exercises only. Sure, steady-state cardio is great for building your foundations and developing your stamina, but for overall growth, you need to incorporate some intense cardio as well.
You must’ve heard of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and its over-glorified fat-loss effects. Most people start out with HIIT and they end up hating cardio altogether. However, since you’ve built a foundation with long runs and steady-state cardio, you’ll be able to appreciate its benefits better.
When you ramp up the intensity, your body is operating in an anaerobic state, and to get used to it, you need to exert your heart. Not over-exert it, just exert it with a few bouts of intense cardio. This will help[ build your anaerobic endurance which is essentially just training your muscles to operate better in an oxygen deficit.
Shake It Up?
The secret to every good marriage, friendship, career, or cardio is to shake things up once in a while. Just like you, your body also might get bored of the same repetitive movements over and over again. This means that mental fatigue will be your biggest enemy.
This is why it’s a good idea to practice different forms of cardio rather than sticking to just one. Now, you might claim that you don’t have access to a pond, a bicycle, even a jumping rope, and you can only afford to run. No problems at all! Try incorporating things like interval training, long runs, Tabata training, tempo runs, and whatnot into your daily run. The point is that you can induce variety into anything if you’re creative enough.
Your body might try to outsmart you by adapting to one kind of cardio that you perform every day, You outsmart it by introducing newer forms of training frequently. This also includes weight training which is one of the most underrated forms of training for cardio.
You can try circuit training to make weight training more akin to a cardio workout. Not only this, but when you train your leg muscles, it helps you improve in cardio because your legs are going to be the primary driving force behind any workout. This is why so many runners regularly hit the gym or at least do some squats, lunges, and box jumps at home.
We’ve discussed quite a lot of different ways in which you can improve your cardiovascular endurance. Now, researching is an important part of exercising, but guess what’s more important? Exercising! So go out there and implement these tips into your cardio workout because the most difficult thing to do is to take the first step.