Ugh. Did I just say the “c” word? Let’s face it, cardio is a necessary evil. But stay with me here, this won’t be a horrible post. Cardiovascular activity is important for many reasons: it works your heart, many activities are weight bearing (which helps to build stronger bones) and it helps to reduce body fat when done consistently along with reasonable eating.
Cardio can get sooooo boring, especially if you do the same thing over and over again. That’s one reason in itself to mix it up. The change in your cardio routine keeps your body guessing what’s next, and therefore out of a rut, which can result in a plateau. Now, how does one go about that? Well, I’m glad you asked. I have a few tips. Read on!
Recently, I’ve been out riding my bike. Now, I haven’t ridden a bike for the better part of my adult life (it’s a long story), so it’s taken some getting used to. I started out with once a week, and now I’m at twice a week. One of those rides is more interval training with hills. The other is geared more towards endurance and increased duration. This is one way to change your cardio routine, to do something different on the same exercise. Whether it’s gym equipment or outdoor activities, feel free to change something from the last time you did it.
Another way to alter your cardio routine is the type of exercise you do for cardio. Let’s say your plan is to get your heart rate up three to four times a week. One might be a long bike ride, another could be a group exercise class or DVD at home, then an interval session on the treadmill and the bonus workout of running the stairs at Red Rocks or participating in a recreational softball game. The next week might be different, but that’s okay. Variety will keep the boredom away. Extreme weather (hot, cold, windy, snowy) might call for all indoor workouts, and that’s okay too. If you work in a multi-story building, take the stairs for at least 10 stories, there’s your stairmill for that day.
In order to keep cardio workouts effective and keep you motivated to get them done, change up your routine every once in awhile. Ask your friends what they do for their cardio, and maybe join them to see if you like it too. When was the last time you changed your routine? Time to get moving!
See you at the gym!