While some aspects of fitness can be fun, cardio is one thing that many people hate. Cardio can be boring at times and for those who don’t really enjoy working out, it can be a drag. Here are some things you can do to change up the cardio routine for better engagement and ultimately a better workout.
When many people think of cardio they automatically think of two things: running and a treadmill. While the treadmill is the most popular form of cardio, there are also other workouts including:
Elliptical – this machine involves a standing pedaling motion that can be awkward at first, however once you get the hang of it it can be very effective. It provides a nice alternative to just simple running and also enables the use of hands as you can grab the handles and pull them as you run.
Cycling – whether outside or indoors, cycling is a great form of cardio. Cycling is not only a great workout but it can be fun as well. With developing technology, many fitness centers today employ a virtual cycling game that makes this excercise even more interesting. The game makes it seem like you are actually on a bicycle completing a race. You also steer with handles on the side of the seat. Games like this can make cardio fun and go by quickly.
Stairmaster – although it may look a little unorthodox, this is one of the toughest forms of cardio. The stairmaster is exactly as it sounds – it’s a machine that involves walking up rotating stairs. You set the level and all you do is walk…and walk…and walk. Although difficult, this provides a great cardio workout and is tremendous for endurance.
Good Ole’ Fashioned Sprints – many athletes use sprints because of its effectiveness. All you need is a long open stretch of pavement ( a track preferrably) and you sprint from one end to the other. This high intensity cardio is a great workout and will improve speed, stamina, and endurance.
Other ways to make cardio fun and interesting
-Listen to music
-Watch TV if provided
-Set benchmarks for yourself. If you’re running for an 30 minutes, that can be a long time to keep checking the watch. Instead, maybe count down to the 10 minute mark, lower the speed, catch your breath for a second, resume, and then aim for the 20 minute mark. These short benchmarkers help the time go by faster and ultimately the entire routine goes faster.
Good luck to all and remember to exercise safely!