Cardiovascular work is essential to include in your exercise regimen, but it’s important to keep it varied so that you don’t get too bored.
The treadmill always provides for an easy go-to option for walking, jogging, or sprinting, but can become dull very very quickly. So why not switch it up? Here are just a few cardio ideas to get you moving and pique your interest.
1. Step It Up
This option can be completed either inside or outside. If you’re opting for an outdoor workout, then find a local school with bleachers or a stairway with a clear path for walking or jogging. Set your timer for a goal time and go at it. A solid routine is to run up the steps and then walk down. Of course, you can definitely either run or walk the entire time. This will most definitely get your heart rate up as well as tone your butt muscles due to the stepping motion. If you’re looking to stay inside, try the StairMaster. You’ve most likely seen some variation of this machine in your local gym. It basically allows you to keep stepping up as if you were on stairs, but on a stationary machine.
Dancing burns a ton of calories while also being a ton of fun. Grab a friend and try that Zumba class you’ve always wanted to check out, or sign up for some more unusual dance classes that are being offered in the city. From pole-dancing to Justin Bieber-inspired workouts, dancing is a seriously addictive activity that works your whole body.
3. Bodyweight Circuit
Circuits will always get your heart pumping, and they can be done anywhere with bodyweight movements. That means you can take it outside or inside, depending on your preference. Bodyweight circuits work by keeping you moving from one move to the next without stopping. This doesn’t give you a chance to catch your breath, which pushes your cardiovascular capacity in a positive way. An example routine would be to set your timer for 10 minutes and crank out as many rounds as possible of this sequence: 10 burpees, 10 squat jumps, 10 push ups, 10 bicycle crunches.
4. Jump Rope
The good old jump rope remains as a classic standard cardio format, and it can be switched up depending on your desire level of intensity. If you haven’t mastered the jump rope quite yet, you can jump in place to achieve the same effect. Play around with different routines, but one possible combination is to jump for one minute, take a breather for 30 seconds, and then go back to jumping for one minute. Also, try double-skipping for an extra challenge. Keep alternating between work and rest breaks for as long as you can. This makes for a quick, fun, and efficient cardio option.
5. Go For A Hike
Part of the treadmill boredom stems from the dull, boring scenery of the gym. Instead, get outside to a local trail or hiking area if you have access to one. The uneven terrain will provide a different type of workout that you would have a hard time simulating on a flat treadmill, even with the different incline settings. In addition, this provides more of a steady-state option that can be done for a longer period of time. Not to mention, you can hike with family and friends, which will make it an even better cardio experience.
6. Ice-Skate Or Rollerblade
Depending on the season, you can break out the ice skates or rollerblades and get in a killer cardio workout. Both of these cardio options provide stability challenges, too. Keeping your balance on the skates provides a toning workout for your legs and core. You can also vary your speed to provide more of a high intensity interval training workout. In addition, you can participate in this cardio option with friends and family or as a sport to keep things fun and interesting.
This is yet another workout that you can do indoors or outdoors. Spinning is an intense cardio exercise that burns a ton of calories, so try hitting up a spin class at a local gym or do your own routine on a stationary bike. As with other cardio options, you can experiment with the speed and resistance. If you’re feeling an outdoor workout, break out your bike and find a trail for a cardio getaway. Both of these options are low-impact and provide a nice option for recovery.