The holiday season is looming along with the changing weather and changing eating patterns! To make sure our changing habits over the holiday period don’t lead to changing waistlines, it’s time gets stuck into some cardio circuits.
Whilst it’s very easy to get swept away in the torrent of Christmas parties, roast dinners/lunches and those workplace drinks, we can alleviate the damage by changing up our workout routines!
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The benefits of cardio circuits:
They say 1 minute of cardio is the longest minute of your life! Circuits provide a way of doing 20 or 30 minutes of cardio without watching the clock tick down on a treadmill. The idea is to break it up into blocks of alternating exercises, each one keeping your heart rate up and your mind off the clock. You can involve anything and adapt them to all gyms or outdoor settings.
The fat burning continues after your session has stopped and if you refuel your body right, you will be able to maintain or improve your fitness over the holiday months!
Things to make your workout more interesting:
Wear a heart rate monitor or fit bit. Track your heart rate or calories and aim to improve on these numbers each session. Trackers such as Myzone will identify when you are in your peak heart rate and fat burning zone which means you will know exactly how hard you worked!
Keep a timer handy! This not only allows you to run the circuit more efficiently but also enables you to focus on the session rather than on the time! The stopwatch has got it under control; all you need to do is keep those legs moving!
Make it social! My clients always struggle with getting motivated for cardio so make it easier by partnering up or grabbing a small group of people to do it with.
This workout is based on a standard gym environment, however it can be tweaked for an outdoor session too.
40-second intervals – 20 seconds rest
4 times through
A great exercise to keep the heart rate going. Whether you do double unders or alternating feet, aim to keep those legs moving for the 40 seconds. See how many consecutive skips you can get and challenge your focus! Remember that it’s only 40 seconds so there’s no stopping to catch your breath, that’s what the rest period is for!
2.Weighted step ups (dumbbells)
Grab a step up box and some dumbbells and challenge yourself to keep the same pace for the 40 seconds. If your gym has a step machine this can also be used if needed. Do your step ups in the middle of the box and make sure your whole foot is placed on the box (no half step ups).
Super simple and no equipment which makes this super easy to do anywhere. Remember to keep the same pace the whole way through and keep those knees as high as you can throughout the whole interval. If you generally have tight hamstrings or quads, a quick stretch beforehand may help.
4. Ice skaters
Imagine how ice skater moves and you’ll have no trouble with this exercise. Jumping from one side to the other with one leg ending up slightly behind you in the air. This move works on your coordination and balance so is a great little challenge at this stage of the circuit.
5. Bike Sprint (Standing)
Time to bring the intensity up a little with a 40 second bike sprint! Jump on and adjust the resistance so that you can sprint without losing control of the pedals. If you are on a spin bike, turn the resistance dial 3-4 times for a good resistance whilst standing. If you have knee or lower joint issues, do the sprint whilst seated.
6.Rower machine sprint
The rower is always the ultimate challenge in a cardio circuit and a great way to end the circuit. Put everything in it and sprint! Push off with your legs and let your arms follow through to your chest. If you have fatigued legs, use your upper body to make the distance and aim to equal or better those meters each time!
Connect with WatchFit Expert Lisa Dunn