Friday, October 5, 2012

Cardio. There I said it.

We know we are supposed to do it. We know all the amazing benefits (ahem controls weight, combats health conditions and diseases, improves mood, increases bone density, and promotes better sleep…). Yet knowing and doing don’t always connect!

Most of my clients say that when they think about doing cardio they think boring! So I have created a short list of ways to mix it up. Not only will changing your workout routine keep your mind engaged it will also prevent your body from getting bored. In the fitness world we call those plateaus. A Plateau is when your body gets used to a certain exercise and it doesn’t have to work as hard therefore burning less calories.

Here are a couple of tips to change things up and surprise your body:

Intervals: Intervals are a great way to get your heart rate up and moving. When doing intervals the whole idea is to go as hard as you can for a given time and then back off, recover and then repeat. For example if you are already running, add in sprints; sprint for a given time and then return to a slow jog and then sprint again and continue. A great benefit of interval workouts is you can typically shorten your workout time. If you usually run on the treadmill for 60 min (yawn) mix it up with interval sprints and you will only have to run for 30 minutes!

Circuits: If you get bored easy and the thought of running for even 30 minutes sounds like your worst nightmare, consider circuit training. In circuit training you will pick a couple different cardio exercises and put them together. For example jump rope for 5 minutes, run stairs for 10 minutes, sprint for 5 minutes and then repeat.

Cross train: Do something totally different! If you always ride your bike try swimming! If you always use the elliptical machine try the stair master!

Go Outside: This is my personal favorite! You simply can’t trade the fresh air and nature for the gym. Plus the outside terrain adds different variables that are going to keep your body continuously guessing.

 Whatever you do, make it fun and it won't seem like such a chore!!


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