By now we know that we have to break a sweat in order to shed some weight and that cardio is a great way to do it. And even though cardio is not the most fun to do, you have to admit that it feels pretty good after you are done with your 45-minute sweat routine. So, what can we do to make cardio more fun and exciting?
One of the biggest issues people face with their cardio routines is boredom. So how can you keep from getting bored?
Alternate your routine
If you’re using machines in a gym, switch up the cardio by doing 5-10 minute intervals on each machine- rowing, stairs, elliptical, treadmill, bike, etc. If you’re working out indoors, take your cardio outdoors and go for a swim or a jog in a park. Go rowing on a lake, bike riding through the trails or run the stairs of a stadium.
Use your cardio time productively
You can make it social by inviting friends to join you and catch up during cardio. Alternatively, watch your favorite tv show while breaking a sweat on a machine and while on the stationary bike, check your emails, read the news. Nurture your mind in addition to your body by listening to a good audio-book while doing cardio- time will fly by.
Get a workout Mix
Music keeps you motivated when working out. Customize a playlist of up-beat songs that will want to keep you moving throughout your cardio routine. Decide beforehand which songs you’re going to push yourself to, so when it comes up, you really break a sweat! Try and update the songs regularly so you don’t get bored and put a slow song last to help you wind down from your routine.
Participate in an Event
Sign up for a charity walk, an obstacle course run, a 5k run, or any event that gives you a reason to train and keep you motivated to get better. A specific goal time will keep you pushing yourself through tough workout sessions. See if any friends want to join the event and form a training group that can keep each other on track.
Join a Class
If you dread working out alone, join a cardio class such as kickboxing, boxing, spinning, zumba, dancing, yoga, Pilates, etc. When you’re in a class, you’re more likely to push yourself to keep up with the energy of those around you. If you like being outdoors, join a Boot camp, biking club, speed-walking club or a running club- there’s nothing like sharing the “cardio-pain” together to bond and make new friends. Social balance is a key component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Make it a family activity
Bringing your kids into your workout routine promotes family time and sets a good example to the little ones. Take your kids for a walk, play soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, softball. Even easier, grab some hula hoops, go jump on a trampoline or jump rope! Your children will mimic what you do and try to do the same, so being active with them is very important to their future health. We cannot forget that children are the future leaders of tomorrow’s America- and we need Fit and Healthy leaders.
Cardio has so many health benefits that we cannot ignore:
- Stronger heart and lungs
- Increased bone density
- Reduced stress
- Weight Loss
- Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer
- Temporary relief from depression and anxiety
- More confidence about how you feel and how you look
- Better sleep
- More energy, stamina and positive attitude
- Setting a good example for your kids to stay active as they get older
With a healthy lifestyle, that includes, physical activity, proper nutrition and spiritual balance, we can control, manage, or completely avoid 60-70% of known illnesses. With this being said, I wish you a very active year, with lots of fun, enjoyment and never-ending enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle, so that in older age, with your family and friends, you can enjoy your life to the fullest.