Whether it’s to make you better at a sporting pursuit or simply to burn fat, cardio training could be very important to you. However, if you’re making common slip-ups and not training with the right gear, your cardio regime won’t be very effective. You want to get the most out of all that hard work, right? Here are some essential things to know about cardio training.

One of the most common cardio mistakes is sticking to low-intensity workouts over long periods of time. Your heart rate plays a big part in how much you gain from any cardio exercise. Low intensity exercise is much more manageable, true. If your heart rate doesn’t get high enough though, your body won’t get much of a benefit from it. For an easy adjustment, start doing interval training. This is a mix of slow and fast workouts. The next time you go out on your jogging route, try sprinting for one minute and walking the next two. The general rule is the higher your heart rate gets, the more fat you’ll be burning.

Another common mistake is neglecting to get the right gear. You can buy the most expensive fitness equipment in the world, and still not be making good progress. By the same token, you could be the most disciplined cardio enthusiast in the world, and be held back by the gear you’re using. The biggest part of cardio in terms of equipment is the shoes you run in. Having shoes which don’t support your feet in the right way is a big one to avoid. This can give you some irritating and sometimes particularly serious injuries. If you’ve been using the same running shoes for years, and thought that it’s all in the technique, this is a bad sign already. Your feet and legs could be taking all kinds of damage you’re totally oblivious to! If you’re looking for a starting point, look at the Nike Air Force 1 range.

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Finally, no matter what the ads say, avoid energy drinks and bars. At least before you start your workout. No matter what the ads say, these are often counterproductive to losing weight. If you have an energy bar and drink before your training, all that cardio work will burn the calories you’ve just eaten, rather than your fat cells. You might be feeling fatigued before your run, but if you carry on with these calories you might as well not run in the first place! If you need something to get you up, then swap out those energy bars for a healthier snack. I know an apple or pot of yoghurt isn’t quite the same. If you want all that running to take effect, you’ll have to make some sacrifices!

I hope this little guide has improved your cardio regime. Getting to your optimum state doesn’t stop here though. Keep looking for more ways to improve your training, implement them, and the results will follow. Whatever you want to improve your cardio for, it’s closer than you think. Just remember to keep training!