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Cardio exercises may seem easier to perfect than a strength move, but seemingly simple activities like going for a run can lead to injuries if done incorrectly. Below are the 7 most common cardio mistakes you may not be aware you’re making, and how to fix them.

Leaning on the handle bars of the cardio machines.
The intensity of your workout will be much less when you lean on the handle bars for support. If you need a way to maintain your balance, lightly hold the handles with very little weight or pressure.

Incorrect or old sneakers.
Certain sneakers are better for certain types of feet. Be sure that you have a pair that complement your foot’s shape, and remember to replace sneakers every 6 months when exercising regularly. Make sure to also wear shoes that are half a size up to avoid blisters.

Forgetting to warm up and stretch.
Raising your body temperature slowly before an intense workout is extremely important. A quick 3-minute warm-up and stretch of the muscles will help prevent injuries and help you enjoy a more productive workout.

Lack of variety.
Consistently working out in the same way will result in reaching a plateau of your fitness level . Add in a new type of cardio every so often to ensure that your muscles have not adapted to a common activity.

Bad form.
Incorrect form leads to exhaustion and injury: keeping your abdominals tight, not slouching, and continuous breathing are three ways to improve your form on any cardio activity.

Not drinking enough water.
You can lose up to one quart of perspiration per hour while working out. It’s important to stay hydrated to keep up your energy levels and prevent dehydration.

Staying at the same intensity level.
Remaining at a steady intensity level will prevent you from improving your cardio ability and endurance. Quick bursts of intensity throughout a workout will help take your fitness to the next level!

Cardio can seem like a relatively simple form of exercise, but you can be making mistakes without even realizing. Perfect your cardio fitness with the above tips to make your workout all the more seamless.