10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Cardio Fitness
When people think of stamina and endurance, they tend to focus all of their efforts on cardio activities such as running or cycling. However, this makes up just a small proportion – you also have to improve your strength. Added muscle will help absorb the stress placed on the joints and by building leg muscles, you’ll be able to drive yourself further in every step whilst running. Below, we bring to you our top tips on how you can improve your cardio fitness:
Instead of doing just cardio-only workouts, make sure to add in some strength days as well. This is because the more muscles you can get moving, the more it will force your cardiovascular system and heart to work harder. Why not try bench press, immediately followed by some pull-ups, before running a mile as fast as you can.
Use interval training to increase your workout intensity and maximize results. Also, make sure to mix-up between all-out effort with periods of rest. For example try sprinting 100 meters, walking back to the start line and repeating. Eight to 10 sprints is what you should be aiming for.
Like most things in life, consistency is key. Whether it’s in the morning, afternoon or evening, the body will always adapt to the training. By staying consistent and exercising on a regular basis, you can attain you fitness goals much quicker.
To improve your cardio fitness you will need to shorten your recovery time in between sets. Resting for 30 to 90 seconds is too long – by the end of each sets your muscles should be burning and you should be sweating. The only reason for stopping for a break is if you physically cannot continue. Try doing a mini circuit of 10 squats, 10 pull-ups, 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups for three rounds.
Listening to music can help improve performance during a workout by increasing motivation and reducing fatigue. Go for something which is up-beat to make sure your energy levels remain high throughout the workout.
Compound moves are ones that use more than one joint at a time like push-ups, squats and pull-ups. These activities will improve your endurance a lot more than exercises performed in isolation. Workouts such as bicep curls and leg lifts will not stimulate the body enough to increase stamina.
Kettlebell training is a great workout which helps improve cardio and strength levels. Use the two-handed kettlebell swing to increase maximum heart rate and lung efficiency – all in the fraction of the time of traditional exercise methods.
Switching up your workout is vital in improving cardio fitness. This is because the body starts to become accustomed to a workout after around two weeks. So if you’re a keen runner, try doing Muay Thai instead. By doing this, you are moving your muscles in different ways so they don’t become overused. It’s also good mentally as it prevents boredom from sinking in.
Explosive movements that require a lot of force helps challenge your strength, stamina and endurance all at the same time. Once you become more explosive, you’ll soon realize that you can move faster than before. Adding in movements such as box jumps, burpees and jumping knee tucks are all perfect for this.
Instead of running on a treadmill or flat road, increase the incline or run uphill. By doing this, you’ll be increasing your heart rate dramatically and the amount of calories being burned. In addition, there’s the benefits of improved running form, leg strength and spring speed.
About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.