Fitness Tips

Tips for Cranking Up Your Cardio Workout

As you do more aerobic exercise and gain endurance, you’ll need to increase your intensity and change things up to continue to build that heart muscle.

1. Include sprinting intervals: Alternate between a few minutes at a moderate pace and throwing in bursts at a faster pace and you'll burn more calories, build endurance, and become faster and stronger. Plus intervals are proven to reduce belly fat.

2. Get armed: If your cardio focuses on your legs, maximize your effort by working your arms too. Concentrate on swinging them while you run, press harder while you swim, keep them up and pumping during a cardio dance class or when riding the stationary bike.

3. Go long: Because most cardio workouts last between 30 or 45 minutes, get more calorie burn by going longer. Start with 5 minutes more. Then keep going.

4. Go strong: The high intensity of aerobic training lends itself to strength training too. When you run, bike or hike, add inclines to target strength in your butt and thighs. Use webbed gloves in the pool to tone arm muscles and fins to develop the small muscles in your feet.

5. Change it up: Build overall body strength and endurance while preventing repetitive stress injuries by including different activities throughout the week. Mix running with swimming, biking and walking. Get crazy and try a Zumba class too.

6. Pump it up: Find creative ways to challenge yourself, like running backward, standing as you ride your bike, swimming laps with just your arms or doing a few laps of butterfly.

7. Focus on the outcome: Pain is temporary. Once you’re done with your workout, you’re going to feel great for the rest of the day!