Cardio 5 ways to totally crush these workouts

Finding the time and energy for cardio isn’t easy but there are ways to get more out of those minutes.

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Cardio workout

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Finding the time and energy for cardio isn’t easy but there are ways to get more out of those minutes.

Love it or hate it, cardio workouts are essential to overall health and critical for athletic performance.

Fortunately, getting a killer cardio workout doesn’t have to mean suffering through mile after mile on the track or trail.

A typical cardio workout elevates the heart rate, helps improve lung efficiency, and burns a whole lot of calories and fat.

Check out these scientifically-backed tips to hack your workout and start seeing results fast.

1. Think outside the ‘mill.

There are plenty of ways to up the intensity and hit the aerobic zone without running. One solution: using free weights like dumbbells for a fast-paced strength training session. That means minimizing the small talk (easier said than done!), and keeping rest between sets under 20 seconds to boost the heart rate and metabolism  .

2. Stop and start.

Interval training, or alternating periods of all-out effort with periods of low-to-medium effort, can up the intensity of a run workout, while building lean muscles and maximizing calorie burn but high intensity interval training (HIIT) can go beyond just running. Try mixing things up with an interval workout in the pool or on a stationary bike for equally awesome results  .

3. Tabata time.

These high-intensity workouts only last four minutes but provide better results than some hour long cardio sessions. Hop in the indoor rower and complete 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest for four minutes. Note: For less advanced gym-goers, avoid overexertion.

4. Mix and match.

Intervals have applications that go beyond running or cycling. Combining strength training and cardio into one workout will produce results in as little as eight minutes. Instead of sprinting then stopping, try performing a bodyweight exercise during the rest period.

5. Belt it.

Running on a treadmill might seem like a drag, but since the belt helps with leg turnover, there are few places you can go as fast. Plus, while it might be tempting to slow down outdoors, the threat of a face plant makes the treadmill a great tool for promoting consistency and pace per mile.

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