Cardio workouts can seem long and boring for many people. Whether you’re hitting the treadmill or trying to burn some extra calories on a bike, there are ways that you can make these exercise days more effective and more fun.
Interested? I thought you might be. I mean, who likes to do the same thing for hours and see little results?
Try these tips to make your next sweat session bring results and actually enjoy yourself a little more for a change.
1. Use All the Tools
Instead of sticking to one machine or one form of cardio, try to incorporate all of them!
When you start your cardio workout on the treadmill, then switch to the bike, and then try the elliptical too, you are forcing your body to adjust to the new movements using more muscles.
Also, when you stay doing one repetitive movement, your mind can start to lose interest and you’ll put forth less effort. By jarring your mind to try new workouts, you keep it engaged and your body working harder.
2. Check Your Heart Rate
The goal of your cardio workout can vary but the measuring stick to whether you are reaching your goal is your heart rate.
If you want to ensure that you are effectively working out to reach your goal, whether it be fat loss, increasing endurance, speed training, or aerobic fitness, you need to check your heart rate.
Obviously, it would defeat the purpose of the cardio workout if you stopped in the middle to feel your pulse and count the beats. That’s why heart rate monitors are so useful for athletes.
Check out this list of the best heart rate monitors for 2020 and choose one within your budget.
3. Add Intervals
If you don’t have the option of jumping from machine to machine, you can still keep things interesting and keep the intensity up by adding intervals into your workout.
Intervals are periods of exercise when you change up the intensity, moves, or speed at which you are working out.
An example of intervals for a treadmill run is to add a 10-second sprint after each third minute of steady-paced jogging. You can also add intervals on the treadmill when the incline is increased.
HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is so popular because of how efficient it is at creating results. This type of exercise is not for the faint of heart. Of course, you can adjust it to whatever fitness level you are in.
The point is to go through a circuit of high and low intervals.
The high intervals will involve you pushing yourself to 85-90% of your peak capacity followed by the low intervals where you rest and allow your heart rate to lower back down before you push it back up again.
This type of workout will not only burn more calories while you exercise, but you’ll be burning more calories for up to 48 hours later.
4. Use a Supplement
There may be times when we need a little boost to get the most out of our cardio workouts. This little boost usually comes in the form of a pill or powder.
Pre Workout supplements are very effective at helping us get physically and mentally prepared to complete a great workout.
A few popular pre-workout supplements include NO boosters, amino acids, and caffeine. Next time you feel sluggish before your workout, try one of these to help you make the most of it.
5. Make a Playlist
Ever wonder why everyone in the gym puts their earbuds in like clockwork? That’s because music is a powerful motivator.
In fact, studies show that listening to music while you workout helps you forget about your sore muscles or your tight chest and just keep on going.
You can’t just put on just any ole’ playlist though. You need to have upbeat and fast-paced music.
Many music streaming services have preloaded workout playlists to help you get started but you might already know a few songs that always get you moving.
Create your own special playlist to help you push through your cardio workout and kill it.
Don’t feel like a hamster on the wheel of treadmill workouts. Switch things up! Challenge yourself! Use supplements and music to provide motivation. Whatever you do, don’t give up because it’s boring.