What everyone ought to know about cardio. (1 of 10)

Cardio (short for cardiovascular meaning the heart, lungs and circulatory system) is a type of exercise that lots of people do but relatively few people do well. To get the most from your cardio exercise its worth following these few guidelines to make sure every minute you spend on the bike, treadmill, rower or cross trainer is as productive as possible…

Choose an exercise that suits your build. Not everyone was built to run so don’t worry if pounding the treadmill or hitting the road isn’t your thing. Lots of people aren’t physically suited to the demands of distance running. People with bigger frames, women with wide “child bearing” hips and those of us with bad knees or foot arch issues should probably stay away from too much running, as should the severely overweight. If running isn’t for you try power-walking or use another method all together.

Make sure you are working hard enough (but not too hard!). Monitor your heart rate while you exercise to make sure you are getting the results you deserve. Your heart rate should be between 60 – 90% of your maximum. If your heart rate is any lower you’re not really exercising hard enough and any higher you are likely to be training too hard for general fitness.

Also, make sure you stay well hydrated! Cardio makes you sweat but this has nothing to do with fat loss – your body is just trying to keep cool. You will lose weight after a sweaty cardio session but this is only water weight and not fat. Make sure you stay well hydrated by consuming water during and after your workout because fat burning is actually inhibited when you are dehydrated


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