Gymnastics and physical activity are not just a question of aesthetics. Goals like losing weight and toning muscles are very important, but there are also health reasons behind it. Doing cardio regularly and correctly improves the performance and general good health of the body.
However, we often don’t give due importance to this phase of training. There are people who care a lot about their muscles rather than the health of their heart. They forget that it is important that there is balance between the two parties involved, because the body is one and therefore works as a system.
Cardio exercises have several benefits, but it is important to keep in mind a few considerations that ensure the effectiveness of this routine. In particular, it is important to avoid mistakes that can damage health.
Doing cardio: the most common mistakes
Here are the main mistakes to avoid:
1. Skip the warm-up phase
Like any other exercise, doing cardio also requires a gradual warm-up. A common mistake is to subject the body to sudden exertion, without the gradual preparation required. It goes from zero to center, and this error can cause injury.
2. Excessive speed
There are people who think that doing cardio means “quickness”. Then they make quick movements, with the anxiety of finishing them quickly. However, for an exercise to be effective, it takes time.
If you move too fast, neither the muscles nor the cardiovascular system work well. You have to feel every muscle move and feel every heartbeat; you can’t do cardio fast to make up for time.
Doing cardio: the exercises and the rhythm
3. The repetition of the exercises
Always doing the same workout is another common mistake. This happens to people who plan a certain exercise routine and always repeat it. For sure, personal preferences affect this choice.
To get good results from cardio you need to integrate several activities. Run on the treadmill, move on the elliptical, and choose other options to alternate over time.
4. Always keep the same pace
Doing cardio requires subjecting the body to different reactions. When you always keep the same speed, the organism gets used to it. In these cases, exercise is not a challenge and the effectiveness of the activity decreases.
As you progress through the exercises, you need to vary the speed of the movements. Cardiovascular exercises work best when you alternate fast movements with slower ones.
A good breakfast and the right hydration for cardio
There is a particularly widespread myth that doing fasted cardio gives better results. In reality, the opposite happens: training on an empty stomach damages the body.
The body, in fact, needs glucose for physical activity, and if it does not have it available, it derives it from muscle mass. Consequently, fasting cardio is tantamount to losing muscle. This observation is particularly true for those who do high intensity exercises.
6. Lack of water
It is well known that the body needs plenty of water in order to perform its functions. Specifically, training causes sweating and, therefore, loss of fluids. They must be restored; which is why drinking plenty of water during cardio training is essential.
A few generous sips of water before, during and after the exercises will help keep the body sufficiently hydrated. It is not convenient to drink a bottle of water all at once; hydrating every half hour is the right way to drink.
Do cardio: beware of pain and overexertion
7. Onset of physical pains
Pain is a defense mechanism of the body. If we experience it – on a muscular or organic level – we must momentarily stop exercising.
It may be that the pain is transient and passes in a short time, and in this case you can resume training. However, it could also happen that such pain is a symptom of a more serious injury; when this happens, if you keep exercising, the problem could get worse. We must be careful and listen to the signals that our body sends us.
8. Overdoing it hurts
Each of us has our own rhythm, our own limit, our own resistance. What works for one may not work for something else; it is therefore important to choose the best for oneself and not to compare oneself to others.
Sometimes out of pride, in order not to be outdone by the others, one falls into excessive efforts that can damage the organism. Overtraining is a problem that devastates the body.
Finally, physical activity must be integrated into daily life. You have to plan it so that it suits your person, in order for it to be truly effective. Otherwise, it can harm your health.