Is cardio boring for you? It doesn’t need to be. With a little imagination and pre-planning, you can go from boring to having an enjoyable cardio workout.
Create a Workout Music Playlist
If all you hear when you’re working out is the sound of other people breathing, or the stomping of your feet, then no wonder you’re not having any fun. There’s a time and a place for silence during your workouts, but playing your favorite songs while you work out can add a little jump to your step.
Find Fun Ways to Exercise
The treadmill is not the only form of cardio you can do. All cardio workouts have the same objective – to get your heart rate up and burn some extra calories. No one said you have to be miserable doing it. If you don’t like running, don’t run. If you don’t like the exercise bike, don’t ride it. Instead, do an activity you enjoy. Your heart knows no difference between running or playing basketball – it only knows perceived stress. Choose an activity you enjoy, and you won’t even realize you’re exercising.
Do a Variety of Exercises
It can get boring if you do the same cardio workout over and over again. A little variety can go a long way towards making your cardio fun again. It could be as simple as jumping from cardio machine to cardio machine all in the same session, or it could mean running one day, followed by biking, rowing, sports, or climbing the next.
Try Dog Running
Now, don’t just go out and buy a dog for the sole purpose of exercising. Dogs become members of families, and I’d hate to see anyone get a dog with the goal of getting fit in mind. That being said, if you do have a dog, take it for a run. They’ll love you for it, and depending on what breed of dog it is, they may even push you to go faster. They need the exercise anyways, so why not get in a workout while you do it? They are man’s best friend for a reason.
You should be treating your cardio the same as you treat your workouts. If you aren’t making progress on a consistent basis, then what’s the point? Sure, you’ll burn some calories, but your body adapts to the same exercise. If you continually run a mile in the same time over and over again, your body will burn fewer and fewer calories as it becomes efficient at that activity. Making progress is a strong motivator. Try to set a goal before you start of beating your last cardio session time in some form or fashion.
Find a Workout Partner
Having a fun workout can be accomplished as easily as bringing a friend with you. There’s a little bit of kid in all of us, and a little play time makes any cardio more fun. Take my daughter for example. If she has to have soccer practice without her friends, she’s hesitant to go, but if her friends are going to be there, it’s all of a sudden play time and she can’t wait to go exercise.
Work Out Outside
If you dread cardio, why not go work out outside and get off the hamster wheel. I saw a saying one time about how people will drive and wait 30 minutes in traffic to get to the gym just to ride a stationary bike. Something is wrong with that picture. Go outside. Get some fresh air. Nature has a way to make everything better – cardio included.
Play an Exercise Game
If video games are your thing, there are all kinds of exercise games on the market. Things like Zumba or other games for the Wii or Xbox can help you have a more pleasant workout. These can also be played with other friends, which as explained above, makes cardio more fun too.
Cardio is more fun when there’s a prize at the end of the finish line. Tell yourself that if you finish this cardio in a certain amount of time, you’ll reward yourself with something. Try making this reward non-food related. Don’t go ruining your cardio workout by binging on bad food afterwards. However, the thought of some new clothes or some other thing you like can usually put a little oomph into your workout.
Have a Fitness Competition
A little competition always makes things more interesting. You could even incorporate some of the tips above to really have a fun time. For example, why not play a video game with a friend and have a reward go to the winner? Think you might push yourself harder? Think you might have a little more fun than usual? I think you would, but hey, I like to turn everything into a competition.
This article is part of the 10 Ways to a Better Body blog series. Be sure to check out the rest of the series!