In order to lose weight, get fit and healthy, and protect your heart, cardiovascular system, and health in general, cardiovascular exercise is a necessary evil. Whereas some people love cardio, it’s safe to say that most gym-goers have a love-hate relationship with cardio. They hate doing it, but they love the benefits that it provides them with. There are plenty of pieces of cardiovascular equipment to choose from, but the main complaint that people have with cardio is that it often gets boring and repetitive. If you’re getting bored with your cardio workouts and you want to switch things up a little, here’s a look at 4 simple ways to make cardio fun.
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Try HIIT –
High Intensity Interval Training is one of the most popular forms of cardio currently in existence. It is an extremely effective training protocol that many people prefer over steady state cardio. The idea behind HIIT workouts is that you switch between slow and steady exercise, and high intensity exercise performed at a fast pace. HIIT workouts, because they are so physically demanding, will often be complete in around 20 minutes, so you can get in and out much quicker. If you want to try a HIIT workout on a treadmill, simply get on, set it to a slow pace and walk for a minute, before speeding it up and sprinting almost as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Repeat this process as many times as possible in the next 20 minutes.
Use different machines –
When we think of cardio, we think of treadmills. There’s nothing wrong with treadmills. In fact, treadmills are fantastic pieces of equipment when it comes to burning fat and getting fit, but there are other options. A lot of people always use the same pieces of kit when doing cardio, and so naturally they get bored. Instead of always using the treadmill, why not use a Spinning cycle or an elliptical machine to switch things up and keep them fresh and exciting? Different machines will provide different benefits, although primarily they will all work on your cardiovascular fitness and will help you to burn fat and get fit and healthy.
Stop ignoring the rowing machine –
Some people don’t realise that rowing machines are awesome when it comes to cardiovascular training. They often overlook them in favour of treadmills and exercise bikes because they think that they’re more resistance-based than cardio orientated. Rowing machines will indeed help you to develop a strong core and back, but they will also improve your aerobic and anaerobic fitness and conditioning no end. See how quickly you can row 500 metres to begin with, and then the next time you use the rower, try to beat your score.
Compete with yourself –
Instead of just plodding along on a treadmill, watching the clock and waiting for your workout to be over, why not add a little friendly competition to your workouts by competing with yourself? Set yourself a target of X number of calories in the next 10 minutes, or to travel a certain distance before your workout can end. Having these small incentives doesn’t seem like much on paper, but when you’re training it really helps to motivate you and spur you on further.