In keeping our hearts healthy, we know we need to exercise. And sure, some of us are runners, swimmers, or maybe kickboxers. Whatever your cardio flavor though, you need to make sure you have the right form and focus for it to be effective. Take a look at our tips below to improve your results! And if you’re not a big fan of cardio to begin with, talk to your doctor about ways to start digging in and keeping your heart (and the rest of you) healthy.
Common Cardio Mistakes
On the treadmill: Too much bouncing up and down while you run can tire out your joints and use up your energy faster. Work on stretching with leg swings to keep your flexibility strong for longer, less bouncy strides.
On the (stationary) bike: You might have the seat at the wrong height. A low seat tires out your legs sooner, and too high makes your hips rock back and forth, not great for joints or for focusing your movement. To fix, get onto the bike and place your heel in the middle of the pedal, and push it to the lowest point of rotation – your leg should be just fully extended there. Adjust the seat until you get that balance.
On the elliptical: You may have the resistance too low. It’s easy to allow the kinetic motion of the bike to keep your legs moving, when really, your legs should be pushing with force each step to keep going. You want to feel that you’re pushing the ramp down, so adjust the resistance level.
On the stair climber: We often hold on tight with our arms, locking our elbows, which is kind of like using crutches. Instead, rest your hands on the bars only to balance, not putting any weight on your arms. Keep your body straight vertically with just a slight lean forward.
On the rowing machine: Sometimes our hands bump our knees. This throws off your cadence. Instead, time it right. Count to three: on one, push with your legs; on two, pull your torso upright; on three, pull the bar back to your ribcage. Then reverse the order, only bringing your legs up after the bar handle has passed your knees.
Now that you know how to get the best out of your cardio workout, you can go into attack mode at the gym. Whether it’s a 45-minute run or some interval training for 20 minutes, you know you’ll be getting the most out of your effort.
For more ideas on ways to keep your heart or the rest of your body healthy, please contact us anytime at 717-747-3099 or click on the button below.