Cardio can be one of the most boring things on the planet if you’re not careful. Imagine an hour of low-intensity cycling, jogging, or using the elliptical machine, and you can see how numbing it can be.
What if there was a way to make your cardio more fun? Check out the ideas below and see if you can breathe some life into your workout.
1. Take the dog
Your dog needs exercise just like you do, and you’ll be amazed at how much Fido enjoys running with you. Instead of letting him run wild at the dog park, take him to a nearby running trail. It’s a great way for both of you to get in a good workout.
2. Use heavy ropes
If you’ve never used heavy ropes, you’ve never lived! Heavy strings make you feel like a ribbon dancer, but shred your muscles and get your heart racing at the same time. They make a big change of pace.
3. Do HIIT
Spend less time on the treadmill by increasing your running intensity with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Instead of jogging for 45 minutes, intersperse four minutes of jogging with one minute of full sprinting. Repeat this cycle three or four times, and you’re done.
4. Stair/Hill Sprints
Want to challenge yourself and see how far you can go? Try sprinting several flights of stairs or tackling a nearby hill. Not only will you run at full speed, but you will climb sideways. Your heart will be beating like a war drum in no time. Plus, it’s an amazing way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
5. Kettlebell swings
Kettlebells can actually be great for working out because they’re heavy weights that get your heart pumping and muscle burning. Kettlebell swings work your whole body and are a surprising cardio workout.
6. Skipping rope
Instead of targeting your legs or glutes on the elliptical machine, grab this jump rope to show your calves some love. Set a goal to jump rope for 10 minutes or 200 jumps and see which one you hit first.
You may think walking is cardio exercise for quitters, but it’s actually a great exercise to do on your recovery day. Increase the incline and push yourself to walk at around 4 mph, and you’ll be walking fast for a wonderful workout.
It’s definitely more fun than the typical cardio workout. You’ll dash across the paintball field or charge through a laser tag maze and are sure to get your heart pumping. You will find that time flies and you will be sweating in no time.
9. Martial Arts
Kick ass and get a great cardio workout by practicing one of dozens of martial arts. Karate, taekwondo and kung fu are probably the best. And if you’re coordinated enough to do Brazilian capoeira, you’ll sweat like a champ.
10. Run with the music
Instead of hitting the treadmill, run at a local park. Set your iPod to “Shuffle” and start to the rhythm of the music. Jog to slower songs, walk to ballads, but bang hard to those EDM and hard rock songs. At the end of the workout, you’ll feel like a superstar.