I’ll be the first to say it, I hate doing cardio. What I hate even more than doing cardio, is doing boring cardio. Treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical and any of the old boring methods of cardio make me mad and I just can’t get myself to do the same thing for 45-60 minutes. I don’t have that kind of attention span. Call me a young buck that doesn’t know the value of hard work but what’s the point of working hard and hating yourself if you can work smart, have fun and still get the same results.
Let’s put some fun into cardio.
Playing a sport is fun. You don’t have to do the same thing for a long period of time and you can get others involved so you’re not just running on a machine all by yourself. Any sport where you are running around and getting your heart rate up works and no, playing video games, is not a real sport. Playing a sport, such as basketball, can burn up to 700 calories per 60 minutes. That’s better than any treadmill can do.
Walking/running outdoors is certainly better than doing it on the treadmill. For one, you get some fresh air and number 2, there’s more variables on the outside as compared to the treadmill where everything is constant. These small variables (hills, inclines, stones, etc) give you a little calorie boost and also provide a tiny little challenge that helps to keep things interesting.
Box or bench jump
Jumping is a great way to get some full body workout in along with your cardio. It gives you a great caloric burn and really pushes up your heart rate. It’s really easy too. All you have to do is jump on the box (or bench if your gym doesn’t have one) and come back down. Repeat. Feel your heart pumping. If you’re not that healthy, have weak knees or are really overweight, start by just stepping up on the bench with one leg and then back down. Then repeat this process with your other leg. Work your way up to the jumps. You can perform this in High-Intensity Interval Training method as well by going hard for 30-60 seconds and slow for 60-120 seconds.
Sled push and pulls are great exercises for improving your body’s conditioning. Along with raising your heart rate, they work your legs, arms, chest and back, which is just awesome. Load up a weight and start pushing and pulling. Rest when you need to, catch your breath and get right back to work. You will notice that it feels amazing pushing all that weight around and it will really get your endorphins flowing.