Most people think that steady state cardiovascular training or cardio for short, is the only way to lose fat. Have you ever heard someone telling you that jogging in the morning on an empty stomach is the best way to lose pounds? I can tell you that it is a myth. Although you lose weight with cardiovascular training, you can also lose a lot of muscle mass if do too much of it. Trust me when I say that you do not want to lose muscle mass. That is because muscle tissue uses a lot more energy than fat tissue. Don’t get me wrong, cardio is not at all a bad form of exercise. You can do it two three times a week for a maximum of one hour at a time. The time of the day does not matter.
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Make sure that you do not always train the same way. Keep it fresh so it does not get boring. Jog on one day, walk on the next. Take your mp3-player with you and listen to your favorite music. On a good day get your bicycle out and cycle for an hour. Try to do the majority of your cardio training outside in the fresh air instead of running on the treadmill, which is not a good form of exercise. Opposed to what most people think, running or walking on a treadmill is not the same as running or walking outside. Normally when running or walking, you use your glutes and hamstrings to bring your leg back, but on the treadmill it is the conveyor belt that brings your legs back. So your hamstrings and glutes do not activate as much as they would when running on the road. On a treadmill you run with your hip flexors, that bring your leg back to the front. That basically that means less calories are burned and that your buttocks and hamstrings do not get enough exercise where as your hip flexors are overworked.
High intensity interval training or HIIT is form of cardiovascular exercise. Unlike steady state cardio training, which is performed with a steady heart rate and speed, HIIT consists of low intensity training and high intensity training. It can be perform by running or jogging, with a rowing machine, an exercise bike, a real bicycle or even in a swimming pool. You start with the low intensity part of the exercise, for example jogging. You jog for a minute or two which is followed by 30 seconds or a minute of running. Then jog for two minutes and the run for a minute and so on. You can do this for 10 to 30 minutes. HIIT is a very effective exercise for weight loss. Although the length of the exercise is rather short, the fat burning continues for hours after end of the exercise. So if you are stressed for time, you should try HIIT. A word of warning: HIIT is a very intense form of training. Most people get nauseous the first time they try it and some even throw up.