Cardio – For some that word invokes dread and the excuses to skip a cardio workout come fast and furious. We all know that cardio is just one component of a fitness routine but it is an important part of any plan and skipping too many cardio sessions can negatively impact your goals.
So how can we do fun cardio exercise in order to reap the benefits without going slightly mad from boredom?
Try one (or all) of these tips and you might just find yourself looking forward to a cardio workout rather than thinking of any excuse possible to skip the workout completely.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
1. Grab a friend
There is just something about hanging out with a friend that makes the time fly, so grab a friend and sweat together!
Instead of gabbing over a cup of coffee go for a run and catch up on life or challenge each other to a yoga pose contest (whoever holds the pose the longest pays for the movie). The conversation will likely make you forget that you are working out but just make sure you don’t lower the intensity too much in order to talk that you end up not breaking a sweat.
You might find that you actually push yourself a little harder during your workout when your friend is there watching what you can do!
2. Try something new
It is very easy to get stuck in a cardio rut and perform the same workout day after day, which of course leads to extreme boredom, so break out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Take that Spinning class you’ve been eyeing for the past few weeks or try that group fitness class you see other gym members taking part in. Whatever it is, make it is different from anything else that you do. Not only will trying something new break the monotony but it will also train your body in a different way, which can lead to some awesome changes in your physique!
If you are a little hesitant to try something completely out of your comfort zone see tip #1 and bring a friend along for the ride.
3. Do more in less time
Too often I see people plodding away on the treadmill or elliptical machine without ever changing speed or resistance – no wonder they think cardio is boring!
Get more bang for your buck by adding intervals to your cardio session and get a killer workout in half the time. Here is a sample interval workout for the elliptical machine: warm up for 5 minutes at a resistance level of 1-2. Increase the resistance level to 6-8 for 3 minutes and then reduce the resistance level back down to 1-2 for 2 minutes. Repeat 4 times. Cool down for 5 minutes at a resistance level of 1-2.
4. Music, Music, Music!
Think about how pumped up you get when your favorite song comes on the radio or when you hear it played at a concert. Music just does something to our heart and soul so why not use that feeling during a cardio session to make it fun. Make a playlist of your favorite songs and see how many you can get through during your workout.
During your next workout see if you can make it through one extra song in the same amount of time. Aren’t games (with music) so much more fun?!
5. Think outside the box
Cardio doesn’t have to be boring if you are willing to think outside the box just a bit. Trying to decide between cleaning the house and getting in a cardio session – why not put on some tunes and turn housework into a sweat session and kill two birds with one stone. Or how about instead of going for your typical 3 mile jog grab the kids and hit the park or trail – quality time with the kids plus a cardio workout equals true happiness!
As you can see, cardio sessions don’t have to be boring, you just have to be willing to try something different.
The juice is definitely worth the squeeze!
So try one of the above tips today to make your cardio session more fun than you thought possible! I’m always listening so if you need help, have questions or are looking for a personal trainer. You can find me on my Expert Profile page.
Happy, healthy living my friends!
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Pauline Shiver