Let’s face it: it can be super difficult to motivate yourself to do cardio. The last thing I feel like doing in the morning or after a long day of classes is jumping around to Britney Spears or running on the treadmill for half an hour.
BUT when I do manage to fit a good sweat sesh into my day, I always end up feeling amazing afterwards. The endorphins kick in and I feel like I could climb a mountain or run a marathon. Whenever I try to cheat myself out of a workout, I try to remember how great it always makes me feel.
If you’re in an exercise rut, just try to push yourself to get out there and move your body. The more you do it, the easier it will get! Seriously, within ten minutes of your workout you’ll forget why you didn’t want to do it in the first place.
Finding motivation to work out isn’t my only hindrance, though. Even when I DO feel like working out, I often find myself less than enthused about doing the same workout over and over again. If you’re anything like me, you need a variety of moves and activities to keep you excited to work out and to ensure that you’re constantly learning and improving. If you do the same movements again and again, your muscles will start to memorize them and they’ll become a lot less challenging than the first time you did them.
Because of this, I always try to mix it up and try new kinds of workouts. Below is a list of some different forms of cardio you might not have tried before, or at least aren’t accustomed to doing regularly. Check it out for some ideas!
1. Jump Rope
Jumping rope is an amazing form of cardio. It really gets your heart rate up and if you carry around a jump rope in your bag, you can do it anywhere! Kate Hudson swears by this workout (if that isn’t motivation enough, then I don’t know what is!).
2. Try an Interval Treadmill Workout
If the treadmill is your go-to for a good cardio workout then you should try an interval workout! You’re continually switching between fast and slow speeds and incline and no incline so that your heart rate keeps going up and down. It’s super hard and you’re really keeping your bod on its toes so that you get the most out of your workout.
It sounds really silly, but lately, my go-to workout has consisted of putting on some awesome music and jumping around my house doing crazy dance moves. If you haven’t done this lately, you’ve GOT to try it. It’s so freeing and fun and you really just feel like a kid again! All you have to do is move your body however it seems to want to move and let loose.
4. Try a Cardio Circuit
Cardio circuits are so difficult but so effective. One of my favourite cardio circuits of all time (which I’m sure you know if you’ve been following along with my blog for a while!) is Insanity with Shawn T. This is definitely not an easy workout, so if you want something chill and low-intensity, I wouldn’t recommend it! Or, if you want to make your own cardio circuit, you could just combine a bunch of moves like jumping jacks, knee raises, jump squats, etc. and do it all three times to some upbeat music.
5. Go Hiking or Power Walking
I’ve been told I’m a super fast walker, so to me, walking is a great workout! If you want to kill two birds with one stone, walk to class or work instead of taking the subway and walk faster than you normally would. This way, if you’re tight on time and can’t fit in a workout, you’re still moving your body and getting your heart rate up. Hiking is also an awesome workout because you get to be surrounded by the beauty of nature and fresh air while working out. I wish I lived somewhere with mountains like British Columbia or Scotland so I could make more of a habit out of hiking!
6. Move Around Instead of Sitting
This sounds pretty simple, but it’s so effective! Moving around throughout the day and being active when you can is a super smart way to improve your health and speed up your metabolism. Sometimes, instead of sitting on the couch and looking through Instagram or Pinterest, I’ll get up and do leg lifts or calf raises while on my phone. Stretching during commercial breaks while watching TV is also super easy and convenient. There are so many ways to incorporate healthy living and activity into your daily life, it doesn’t have to be complicated!
7. Take a Swim
Now that the weather is warming up, I’m so excited to start swimming again! Swimming is an amazing workout because it really works every single muscle group in your body. Even just treading water is so beneficial. Plus it’s so fun! They don’t call me The Lilac Mermaid for nothing. 😉
8. Cruise Around on Your Bike
During the warmer months, I love biking around my neighbourhood not only as a workout, but as a fun activity to do with friends! I have a basket on the front of my bike and sometimes I’ll pack a picnic lunch and cruise to my nearest park to hang out – it makes for such a lovely day (or date!). You could also bike to work or to the store to get groceries instead of driving for a more economical and healthy mode of transportation.
9. Do Some Weight Training
While people often think that lifting weights doesn’t count as cardio, it actually really gets your heart rate up and burns tons of fat. I like doing arm circuits that target biceps, triceps and shoulders for an allover burn.
10. Go Shopping!
All I have to say about this is that anyone who says shopping isn’t cardio is just silly!
I’m by no means an expert on this stuff, I just wanted to share some of my go-to cardio workouts with you guys and hopefully inspire you to get active! I’d love to hear about how you get cardio into your daily life in the comments below. 🙂