Cardio, one of the most dreaded aspects of any fitness routine, is important for fat loss and overall health, but we know that it can seem long, boring and painful. We are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way; it is possible to actually have fun while doing cardio. Here are our top five tips to switch up your routine and make cardio more fun. Keep it interesting, keep it short and keep it fun.
Get more done in less time with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The basic framework of HIIT is short periods of work at an all-out, high-intensity pace, followed by slightly longer active rest periods. The timing and ratios of work and rest periods can vary, but the key to getting the most out of your HIIT routine is to give all you’ve got during those periods of work.
Your HIIT routine can be performed on a variety of cardio machines, a stair climber, bike, or treadmill, for example, or simply sprint a set distance outside of the gym and rest on the walk back. An example of a good HIIT routine is: 30 seconds sprint followed by 45 seconds active rest (walking or slowly jogging). Repeat this anywhere from 8-15 times.
Nothing makes cardio more fun than a little competition. Challenge yourself to increase your HIIT routine by 1 round each week.
Perform a HIIT routine 1-3 times each week depending on your fitness goals. This short but difficult routine can make cardio quicker and more enjoyable.
Use plyometrics to get your heart rate up without being stuck on a treadmill. The goal of plyometrics, commonly known as jump training, is to increase power and endurance by performing rapid, explosive movements. Although plyometrics is not actually cardio, the focus is on exerting maximum force in minimum time and it can significantly increase your heart-rate.
Some of the best plyometric exercises are:
• Box Jumps
• Lateral Box Jumps
• Broad Jumps
• Skater Jumps
• Scissor Jumps
• Barbell Squat Jumps
• Bosu Ball Burpees
For a successful plyometrics workout ensure you are taking proper breaks to allow for maximum explosiveness while working and learn how to land properly to avoid injury.
Take your cardio outside
One of our favourite ways to make cardio more fun is to take it outside. The change of scenery, the fresh air, being surrounded by nature, its enough to make even cardio seem relaxing.
Go for a hike, run or bike ride – whatever you like. If it gets your heart rate up and gets you moving, we approve.
Group fitness class
Nowadays there is no shortage of heart-rate raising, sweat-sesh group classes available, from dance, to barre or boxing to spin class. Get inspired by the pumping music and the hard-working individuals in the class with you.
Play a sport
One of the best ways to get in your cardio, without even feeling like you’re doing cardio, is to play a sport that you enjoy. Running up and down the field, chasing a ball, or skating the lengths of the ice to score that goal, these activities will all get your heart rate up and encourage the cardio calorie burn.
Make sure to properly warm up your body before beginning any exercise program to help prevent injuries.
Give these cardio routines a try to see improvements in your endurance and overall health and better yet, learn to love cardio!