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4 Ways to Intensify Your Cardio Exercises

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Cardio exercises help to burn fat and improve your circulation and heart health. If you are looking to intensify your cardio workout, increase the duration and difficulty of your workout routine. Also introduce variety into your workouts through interval training. For best results, monitor and document your progress.

1. Extend the Duration of Cardio Exercises

It may be that you are exercising daily but not actually exercising long enough in each workout. To intensify your cardio exercises, pay attention to how much time you are devoting to your aerobic workouts. Are you walking daily? Do you run every day? Or is your favorite cardio exercise cycling? Whatever the activity, time yourself to make sure that you are working out for at least 20 minutes each time. If you are accustomed to running 1 mile each day, gradually extend that to 1.5 miles or longer. When cycling, try to cover a longer distance than you usually do.

2. Increase the Difficulty of Cardio Exercises

It may be that even after extending the duration of your workout, you still need more intensity. If you are walking daily, consider adding hand weights to your daily walk. When cycling either outdoors or on an exercise bike, challenge yourself by switching to a more strenuous gear. If swimming laps daily, challenge yourself to swim the same number of laps more quickly. When running up and down stairs, intensify your workout by adding ankle weights.

3. Cardio Exercises and Interval Training

One of the challenges of doing the same workout routine day in and day out is that it can get boring. You may be losing your desire to repeat the same cardio exercises and, therefore, not seeing optimal results. In that case, try interval training.

Interval training in a gym might mean starting out on a treadmill for 10 minutes, switching to a stair climber for 15 minutes and finishing your workout with 15 minutes on an exercise bike. If exercising outdoors, you might run for 15 minutes, jump rope for 10 minutes and run up and down stairs for 15 minutes.

The advantages of mixing up your cardio exercises are many. You avoid the monotony of one activity. Different cardio exercises work different muscle groups. Through interval training, you will experience a stronger body and find greater motivation to maintain a regular cardio routine.

4. Document and Monitor Your Progress

Whether you decide to run a longer distance each day, add hand weights to your stair climbing routine or diversity your workout through interval training, keep track of your progress. Measure your heart rate, time your workouts and keep track of whether you are seeing greater weight loss and increased muscular strength. Documenting your progress as you make changes to your cardio exercises will help you tune into what does and doesn't work for you. Over time, you can develop a fun and effective workout that burns fat and builds strength.

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