Everyone is looking for the secret to losing weight. Everyone wants it to be easy. There is no easy way to lose weight, but there is a secret. It may not be what you want to hear, though. The weight loss formula is basically simple: burn more calories than you consume. How do you do that? Commit to Cardio!
Too many people underestimate the importance of cardio in their workout routine. If you truly want to lose weight, you need to be doing a good 45 minute to 1 hour cardio workout 4 to 5 times per week. Less than that will help you to maintain your current weight, but won’t help you to shed those pounds. You need to find what you enjoy, make it a priority, and work hard while you’re at it!
The first step to making your commitment to cardio is to find what you enjoy. There are so many options to choose from – running, cycling, cardio machines in the gym, and group fitness classes, just to name a few. If you get bored easily, change it up frequently. Find a friend who likes the same type of workout and use the buddy system. If you pick an activity you enjoy, it will be much easier to stick with it.
Make your cardio workout a priority. Quit scheduling your workouts around everything else you have to do, and instead schedule everything else around your workout. Write it in your planner if you need to, but don’t let anything interfere. If you make it important in your daily routine, then you will find ways to work in everything else you need to do.
Finally, while you’re at it, work hard! Get your heart rate up into the aerobic zone and keep it there for at least 30 minutes.* I teach group fitness classes, and I always tell them, “This is your workout, get what you came for. What’s the point of working if you’re not working hard? Don’t cheat yourself.” Tell yourself these things as you work out, and push yourself!
The benefits of a cardio workout routine go far beyond just losing weight and feeling better. Your heart will be healthier, you can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, it’s a stress reducer, you will feel better about yourself, you will have more energy, the list is endless. So quit making excuses and commit to cardio today!
*To determine your aerobic heart rate training zone, you must first find your maximum heart rate (MHR)
- MHR =220-age
Your aerobic training zone is between 70%-80% of your MHR. After 20 minutes in this zone, your body burns fat efficiently and quickly.