Cardio can be defined as any type of movement or exercise that increases the heart rate and blood flow around the body. We like to think of cardio as a bit like reality TV shows, you either love it or hate it. Regardless of your stance, there’s no denying that cardio can sometimes an essential element in your workout regime. The point of this article wasn’t to highlight the health benefits of cardiovascular training but to show you how you can have a killer cardio workout, without it feeling like a chore!
1. Mix things up
We’re not going to lie, we get bored pretty easily in the gym and the last thing we’d want to be doing is running on the treadmill or cycling for 45 minutes at a time, 3 times a week. No one wants to be doing the same thing session in, session out and unless you want your exercise to become stagnant, it’s essential you frequently shake things up and keep it fun and fresh.
Cardio is incredibly versatile and there’s lots of things you can do to to mix it up, without having to be in the confides of a gym! Why not get out of of the gym and hit the park for a fat-burning kettle-bell workout? Find 6 heart pumping exercises and perform each for 30 seconds, with a quick rest in between. Complete 4 full rounds and you’d have burnt a ton of calories without the boredom that comes with traditional, steady state cardio. If circuit training’s not your thing, why not grab a set of gloves and fight your way fit with some boxing. Boxing is a great full body workout that won’t just get the heart racing but will help sculpt and tone your arms and shoulders! It’s a great way to bust stress, too! The point is there’s a ton of different exercise options at your disposal to make sure that working out doesn’t have to feel like a necessary evil.
2. Try a sport
One of the best ways to make cardio more enjoyable is try out a new sport or just get involved with your favourites more often. A lot of people fail to acknowledge the health benefits that come with participating in sports and forget just what a great workout a game of tennis can be!
It doesn’t matter what it is: rugby, football, tennis, swimming – just get yourself involved and get moving. Not only are you going to enjoy the benefits of working out but you’ll do so without even realising it. A friendly game of footie is a lot more appealing than a 5 mile run. It’s also a great way to meet new people and expand your social group with people all with similar interests as you.
Getting involved with a new sport is a fantastic way to build upon things like leadership and teamwork – think of it as a workout with all the added benefits!
3. Go to a class
Repetitive, drained out cardio can quite quickly make you lose interest in your exercise routine. Trying out a fitness class at your local gym or health club can be a great way to work out with other like-minded individuals who are all there for the same reasons as you. Exercising in a group atmosphere can be a great incentive to work and push yourself harder than when training solo.
Most gyms offer a variety of classes: spinning, body-pump, circuit training etc to really keep from getting bored.
4. Get a good beat
Select your workout playlist carefully. Research into the psychology impact of music when exercising has suggested that a fast paced beat (between 120 to 140 beats per minute) can alleviate perceived effort. What does this mean? It means that the right choice of music can literally make an intense workout feel easier, increase motivation and boost your overall performance. Check out the top 2015 workout playlist!
5. Time it right
Research has indicated that morning exercise is the most sustainable and realistic way to build long-term exercise habits. We’re not suggesting that the only make to achieve tangible results is to be a morning person but that if you find you lose motivation easy and tend to fall off track, you may benefit from waking up earlier and bossing that sweat sesh before you have a chance to talk yourself out of it.
If you can’t commit to morning sessions, it’s not all bad news. Any exercise is always going to beat no exercise so find a time that suitably fits into your lifestyle which you can stick to.
You needn’t dread the C word. Cardiovascular training should play a role in your workout regime but if you’re to really enjoy the best it has to offer and stick to it, you need to know how to get the most from your cardio workout so that you can have killer sessions – every time! Just be careful to not overdo it. You can have too much of a good thing and it’s applicable to cardio, too. Make sure you listen to your body and provide it with the rest and recovery it needs.