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Over 40? These 5 Cardio Habits For Weight Loss Are Key, Trainer Says

These are habits you shouldn't skip, so listen up.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Putting your health first should always be the number one priority. Especially when you're 40 or over, it certainly cannot be overlooked. This is due to the fact that as you age, your body goes through a lot of changes. You lose muscle mass, your metabolism drops, and it's easier to gain fat. You may be able to get away with being less active in your younger years, but once you hit your 40s, your lifestyle choices start to catch up. So, we've done the hard work for you and put together five important cardio habits for weight loss you'll want to implement into your routine ASAP. These are habits you shouldn't skip, so listen up.

The three fundamentals of a fit lifestyle include eating a healthy diet, getting in strength training, and performing cardio on a consistent basis. Although you mostly want to focus on strength training—especially for fat loss—you don't want to neglect your aerobic work. Getting in regular cardio helps you stay active and burn calories, in addition to improving your heart health and endurance.

If cardio is a concern or priority for you, here are five cardio habits for weight loss you should adopt ASAP. Read on to learn more, and next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Set a schedule you can stick to

man in his 40s doing cardio outside for weight loss

Just like strength training, you want to block off days and times in your calendar to get your cardio sessions crossed off the list. This is especially important if you're busy and can easily get sidetracked with work, errands, etc. Look at your schedule, and make it your mission to squeeze in those cardio workouts.

Related: The Best Cardio Exercises To Burn Fat Fast—Without Equipment

Gradually build up your endurance and speed

middle-aged woman doing cardio in winter in a close up low angle view against a sunny blue sky in a healthy active lifestyle

Just like strength training, you want to gradually build up your endurance and speed. You don't want to go from 0 to 100 fresh out of the gates. It's an easy way to get burned out and possibly injured. Instead, start at a pace and distance you can maintain, then increase it over the course of the following few weeks.

Related: The Best Outdoor Cardio Exercises To Get Toned Fast, Trainer Says

Switch up your activities

Indoor cycling

It's easy to get caught up in doing the same cardio activity over and over again. The problem is, your body adapts to it. Not only that, it can get boring after a while if you're only doing the same types of cardio exercises. Mix things up throughout the week, such as running one day, then hopping on an exercise bike or stairclimber on the others.

Alternate between steady-state and interval training

man's silhouette running at sunset up hill

Just like performing the same activities over and over, this also applies to the time and intensity. When you're constantly sticking to the same distance and pace, your body will adapt and end up burning fewer calories for the same amount of work. This can lead to a plateau and make it harder for you to lose fat.

To prevent this from happening, alternate your distance and intensity. You can do a longer steady-state session on one day, and for the next, try a 15 to 20-minute HIIT workout.

Related: Marie Osmond's Secret To Dropping 50 Pounds And Keeping It Off

Incorporate an active recovery day, if needed

man does lunges during cardio workout

Even though you're going to put a lot of effort into your cardio sessions, don't forget that it's perfectly okay to do an active recovery session instead if you're feeling really tired from everything you've done. Active recovery sessions can be low-intensity, such as a 30-minute walk or a quick bodyweight circuit. Replace it with your scheduled cardio session, if needed.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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