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Cardiovascular workouts are a must if you're looking to drop those extra pounds. Any fitness trainer or health expert will probably suggest adding some sort of cardio to your weight loss plan.

With so much focus on these heart pounding exercises, there are also a lot of misconceptions and confusion.

Here are some common cardio myths and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: You can eat whatever you want as long as you do cardio.
Truth: Although cardio does burn calories you may not realize how many calories you are actually consuming. If you think doing 20 minutes of cardio after eating a cheese burger will even things out, you are sadly mistaken... it would take you about an hour of running to burn it off... and that doesn't even include the fries!

Myth 2: Unlike yoga or Pilates, cardio workouts take little concentration.
Truth: If you can hold a conversation with the person next to you on a treadmill or if you can read a magazine article while working out, chances are you are not pushing yourself hard enough. You should be doing your cardio so efficiently that you shouldn't be able to focus on much else besides the task at hand.

Myth 3: You can wear your favorite workout sneakers until they wear out.
Truth: Okay, so you may think your workout sneakers are working great, but sneakers do have expiration dates. It is a good idea to change your workout sneakers ever 4-6 months. Although your old sneakers may still be comfortable, they are not as supportive as they originally were. If you see that the soles of your old sneakers are worn down or if they feel slightly larger, it is time to get a new pair. Your feet and your workout will be better off!

Myth 4: If you can't work out for 20 minutes, you shouldn't work out at all.
Truth: Even if you can only do 10 minutes of cardio, you are still burning more calories than you otherwise would have. You can still have a great workout in 10 minutes if you increase the intensity. Also, don't forget that you can split your workout up if you need to. You can do 10 minutes of cardio in the morning 10 in the afternoon and than another 10 later on if you can. Basically, a workout no matter how short, is never a waste of time!

Myth 5: Cardio exercise is always boring.
Truth: If cardio is so boring then why do people spend money going to dance clubs on the weekend? Many people assume cardio workouts are done at the gym, but that is simply not the case. Although the convenience of the treadmill, elliptical trainer and stair climber work for some people, many people would rather spend their time being active outside of the gym. Rock climbing, dancing, swimming, ice skating even bike riding are all great ways to have fun while staying in shape!

Now that you know the truth behind these common cardio myths, you can begin to work out the right way!

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