Hey Angels and Alphas,
Whether we all like it or not, cardio is one of the most important elements of an overall healthy lifestyle (especially if you’re on a weight loss journey.)
Doing activities that boost your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular fitness, and doing them regularly, can help you live longer, reduce blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, maintain a healthy weight, burn fat, build endurance, and so much more!
But if you’re someone who hates cardio, you could care less about all its benefits. You just don’t like running. And that’s okay!
If you dread cardio, it’s likely that you haven’t stuck with it long enough to actually see any benefits because you simply don’t enjoy it.
But don’t worry! Maybe we won’t turn you into a cardio-lover, but here are 5 strategies you can learn to make cardio workouts fun and enjoyable!
#1 CARDIO ISN’T JUST ABOUT RUNNING… THERE ARE MANY CARDIO ACTIVITIES YOU CAN ENJOY!
Most often, it’s the “type” of cardio you hate, not really cardio itself.
If you generally tend to avoid cardio, you likely just haven’t found the right activity for you – an activity you will find fun and actually enjoy. You can experiment with countless activities before you find one you like.
But best believe, there will be at least one you enjoy. There are just too many things you can do! Walking, running, cycling, rowing, boxing, aerobics, skiing, surfing, circuit training, dancing, swimming, hiking, HIIT, tennis, and many more.
If you’re a gym-goer, you have the further advantage of accessing all the cardio equipment you could ever need, from ellipticals and treadmills to climbers and bikes.
Do yourself a favor and try out a bunch of things. See what you enjoy, and then turn that into a regular thing you do once or twice a week. All of a sudden, you’ll be transformed into a cardio-lover.
#2 FORGET ABOUT STEADY STATE CARDIO.
If we have to be honest, even cardio lovers will admit that steady-state cardio workouts get pretty dull pretty fast. That’s why you should always be trying to add new things or switch your routine up – whether it’s the duration, type of cardio, or intensity level, something has to change from time to time.
There are countless ways to keep your training session new and exciting.
If you’re at the gym, why spend 30 minutes on a treadmill when you can break your 30 minutes into 3 10-minute blocks and do treadmill, bike, rower, or another type of cardio? Sure, if your cardio equipment is limited or you just don’t like switching machines every 10 minutes, you don’t have to do this, but it surely will make your workout more exciting by varying the pace and resistance.
And if you’re someone who can’t even stand the treadmill, elliptical, or fitness bikes, remember to swap out traditional cardio forms for a more effective circuit that will include exercises such as burpees, jump rope, medicine ball slams, and more.
#3 YOU CAN TAKE A CLASS WITH YOUR FRIENDS!
Why work out on your own when you can sign up for a fitness class and train alongside people who have the same goals as you? Especially if you’re trying to learn a new skill such as boxing or you are trying to take your dance routine skills to the next level, group workouts are where it’s at.
They make cardio so much more fun and competitive, boosting your performance and enjoyment. Many fitness centers and gyms offer both in-person and online group classes.
#4 LISTEN TO MUSIC… IT CHANGES EVERYTHING!
Whether you’re doing high-intensity or steady-state cardio, music is a guaranteed way to make your cardio session more enjoyable. Get a playlist full of your favorite bangers and sync yourself up to the rhythm, and you’ll have some of the most productive cardio sessions you’ve ever experienced.
Depending on the songs you choose, you can take it easy, go for a moderate pace, or head for an all-out sprint any second.
*This isn’t recommended if you’re exercising in an outdoor setting and you don’t really have great visibility. But put your headphones on when you’re at the gym, and you’ll see new levels of energy and performance during your cardio sessions.
#5 YOU COULD EVEN SIGN UP FOR SOME EVENTS!
If you’re someone who generally just enjoys a little competition now and then, why don’t you sign up for a 5K, triathlon, obstacle race, or even trail run? Not only is this a great opportunity to test your skills and motivate yourself to go out and train, but it’s also amazing that you get to see your progress toward that goal as you go.