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 just how mind-numbing it can be.
But what if there was a way to make your cardio more fun? Check out the ideas below, and see if you can’t add some life back into your workout.
1. Take the Dog
Your dog needs exercise just like you do, and you’ll be amazed by 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 the both of you to get a good workout.
2. Use Heavy Ropes
If you’ve never used heavy ropes, you’ve never lived! Heavy ropes make you feel like a ribbon dancer, but shred your muscles and get your heart beating at the same time. They make for a great change of pace.
3. Go HIIT
Spend less time on the treadmill by upping the intensity of your run with High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Instead of jogging for 45 minutes, intersperse four minutes of jogging with one minute of full-on sprinting. Repeat that cycle three or four times, and you’re done.
4. Stair/Hill Sprints
Want to challenge yourself and see just how far you can push? Try sprinting up multiple flights of stairs or tackle a nearby hill. Not only will you be running at top speed, but you’ll be climbing at an angle. Your heart will beat like a war drum in no time. Plus, this is an amazing way to burn lots of calories in a short period.
5. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebells can actually be excellent for working out, as they are heavy weights that get your heart pumping and your muscles burning. Kettlebell swings work out your entire body and they make for an amazing cardio workout.
6. Jump Rope
Instead of targeting your legs or your glutes on the elliptical machine, grab that jump rope to show your calves some love. Set a goal of jumping rope for 10 minutes or 200 jumps and see which you reach first.
You may think that walking is cardio for quitters, but it’s actually a good exercise to do on your recovery day. Increase the incline and push yourself to walk at about 4 mph, and you’ll be speed walking for a wonderful workout.
8. Paintball/Laser Tag
This is definitely more fun than the typical cardio workout. You’ll be dashing around the paintball field or charging through a laser tag maze and are guaranteed to get your heart pumping. You’ll find that time flashes by and you’ll work up a sweat in no time.
9. Martial Arts
Kick ass and get a great cardio workout by practicing any one of dozens of martial arts. Karate, taekwondo and kung fu are probably the best. And if you are coordinated enough to do Brazilian Capoeira, you’ll find yourself sweating like a champ.
10. Run with the Music
Instead of hitting the treadmill, run at a local park. Set your iPod to “Shuffle” and run in time with the music. Jog on slower songs, walk on the ballads, but hit it hard on those EDM and hard rock songs. By the end of the workout, you’ll feel like a superstar.