CARDIO DOESN'T HAVE TO BE BORING!
When most people think of cardio, the first image that comes to mind is someone walking on a treadmill day in, day out, every day. To be honest, if I had to do that I think I'd go insane. It may sound hard to believe, but in all these years (actually decades) of working out I've never done that. There are so many better options, why would I?
First, what is cardio and what is the purpose of it? It's really quite simple. It's a workout for your heart and circulatory system. By raising your heart rate for a sustained period of time, you're pumping more and more blood through your arteries giving it a workout and bringing nutrients throughout your body. It can be done at a steady rate or it can alternate such as interval training. As a result of all this, fat loss along with heart health are the main benefits. But there are many ways to accomplish this that don't involve endlessly walking on a treadmill. In fact, cardio done for longer than about 45 minutes or so can actually be detrimental since after that, your body will go catabolic (muscle breakdown).
So here are some examples of other types of exercise that can be used as cardio.
1. SWIMMING - one of my favourites. After a hard workout, going for a swim is awesome!
2. TRAMPOLINE JUMPING - You can vary how you jump. Height, speed, angles, are all things you can play around with.
3. BICYCLING - Stationary bikes are OK, but I'd rather get out there on the trails and get fresh air too!
4. RUNNING - While many people will say it's the same as a treadmill, I strongly disagree. Running outside on a track, doing sprint intervals, and just being outside is completely different from a treadmill.
5. STAIR RUNNING - Going up and down the stairs is amazing. You can go up straight, sideways, double leg hops, single leg hops, etc. In Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, we have the Dundurn Stairs which I've run up and down countless times. A great workout and always a killer. Those stairs never get easy!
6. BOXING AND OTHER MARTIAL ARTS - Doing some rounds of shadowboxing followed by some rounds on the heavy bag, and sparring has got to be one of the biggest, if not THE biggest calorie burning exercises in existence. It gets everything going and believe me, you feel it!
So there you go. Six different types of cardio that are anything but monotonous and boring. Give them a try and let me know which ones you like the best!