• Phil

4 Tips to Improve your Cardio Workouts

Incorporating even a little cardio into your exercises does wonders for your cardiovascular health and endurance. Here’s 4 tips on how to get the most out of your workouts.

Take it Slow

You don’t have to be a marathon runner to set running goals. But if you are training for that marathon – learn to take it slow. New runners often make the mistake of being too ambitious with their goals. You really need to wait for your body to adapt to running. Otherwise, you may run the risk of injuries and abandoning your overly ambitious goals all together!

A good rule of thumb is the rule of 10%. Whatever you ran last week, increase that distance by 10% to get your current week’s goal. When you start, this may not seem like much, and you might feel you’re not progressing as fast as you could be. However, keep in mind that running is about consistency, and pretty soon all of those additions will add up.

Furthermore, this decreases the change of injuries significantly and gives your body time to adapt.

Be Aware

Another common tip is becoming aware of the sound of your running. If you are able to run quietly and make a minimal amount of noise with each step, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of injury. Heavy steps usually indicate improper running form and should be addressed as fast as possible. It is always beneficial to have a professional check your running form.

Often times, improper form might also develop during treadmill use – particularly if you *lock-in* upper body movement by holding down to the sides of the treadmill. Other than this specific example, feel free to run outside or indoors on a treadmill. There really are no significant differences between the two types. Just be consistent. For instance, if you can’t make it outside during the cold winter months, take advantage of a treadmill.

Increase Variety

Adding a little bit of strength training is always beneficial to any cardio workout regiment. For example, supplementing running exercises with squats helps improve your running ability as you train your running muscles.

Have Fun

Aside from setting goals, remember that running is an activity that should be enjoyed. Newcomers often get bogged down in performance and data. Set reasonable goals, maintain proper form, be consistent, and have fun with it!

That's it for today's post! If you need feedback on your running goals and form, you may be interested in our personal training services on the Guelph Personal Trainer homepage.