Cardio – Not Just Your Average Treadmill Time

As I started my new fitness journey, I quickly realized one thing: the treadmill gets so boring! I like to lift 3-4 days a week followed by 30-45 minutes of cardio.  However, spending that 30-45 minutes on a treadmill gets old very quickly.  Instead I have found other ways to get my heart rate up and still enjoy my workout.

Stairs:

My new favorite way to get in a good cardio session is stairs.  Whether it’s running stadium stairs on Friday afternoons or using the stair-stepper at the gym, stairs gets your heart rate up quickly and helps build leg and glute strength.  Also, running stairs regularly makes climbing a flight or two of stairs much easier! After I started using the stair-stepper at the gym, taking the stairs at school became much easier, and saves me time from having to wait for the elevator.

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Sprints on the track: 

The student rec center has a very nice track which makes it easy to do sprint intervals.  I tend to do sprint intervals for 30 seconds and walk for 30 seconds for about 15-20 minutes.  An added benefit of sprinting is it boosts metabolism, not just while working out, but helps to extend while at rest.  Sprinting is also a fun way to race against friends and push each other at the end of a workout.

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Cycling:

On days I feel particularly sore but still want to get a cardio workout in, I hop on one of the spin bikes in the gym.  I enjoy being on the bike because it takes the pressure off of my knees while still getting in a good lower body workout.

Circuit workouts:

With my new commitment to fitness, I started to finally feel like I was getting back in shape… until I did a circuit workout.  That workout kicked my butt.  By the end, I could hardly move, my entire body felt limp.  But after doing several more days of circuit workouts, I started to see how beneficial they can be.  For starters, I never got bored during the workout.  I tend to get bored while walking/running on the treadmill.  Circuit workouts switch up exercises so I never feel bored while getting my cardio fix.

Going for a walk/run outside:

Nothing beats going outside and getting some fresh air.  Because it is getting colder outside, it is getting harder to go for long runs or walks without needing to seriously bundle up.  However, on sunny days, I still enjoy being outside, even if I have to put on an extra layer to stay warm.

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P.S. Always remember to stretch after working out, it’ll help you feel less sore tomorrow!

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