Cardio can seem daunting, especially for people who might not be in the best shape of their lives. I was once in this predicament and I would force the odd run out of myself. I’d go for about 1 or 2 km and feel like I was dying. Because the experience was so unpleasant I wouldn’t run again for a while.
Here’s a protocol that should help all people, doing any type of cardio, to not only enjoy it more, but make it something that you can stick to, thus getting much better results.
The trick is to use your nose as a governor. Instead of working yourself tirelessly and panting through the mouth, keep your mouth closed and only go as fast as you can while breathing through your nose.
This will keep you at a sustainable, yet challenging heart rate, allow you to enjoy the movement, allow you to recover easily, and allow you to stick to the exercise routine.
Regardless of if you are jogging, biking, sledding, etc. this is applicable.
If you are not currently a nose breather habitually (I was also a mouth breather until a few years ago), this may be extremely difficult in the beginning. I highly encourage you to stick it out as mouth breathing (outside of exhaustive physical activity) is detrimental to your health. If you want to know more about that James Nestor does a great job in his book titled “Breath”.
This protocol of going slower has changed my life. I love running (and sledding and rucking) now and regularly do cardio every week. I have improved enough to have completed a couple half marathon Spartan races up mountains. I feel much better, and the rest of my fitness has improved from the increase in my cardiovascular health.
Go slow, for longer, and you will see the same improvements.
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