Have fun with cardio!

Boring Cardio... Destroy that myth

With cardiovascular training being an important part of many people’s regime the idea of doing hours a week on a treadmill or a cross trainer can seem daunting. With the obvious fat burning and stamina building effects of a good cardio routine the repetitive nature can stifle the week for many.

Cardio training can be made fun! When we discuss cardiovascular training we have some key points to consider with any plans. Your training needs to;

  • Increase the heart rate
  • Make you sweat
  • Build endurance
  • Burn fat

Given these key ideas regarding cardio training it is easy to think that blasting some high intensity sprinting or rowing machine work within 30 minutes will do the job. However there can be many ways to ensure your body does the required work in order to have the desired effects of a good cardio regime, whilst keeping it interesting.

Your alternatives

So let’s take a look at the other types of cardio training you could take part in during your weekly regime.

Mixed martial arts -

You only have to look at the shape some of the world’s best fighters are in to see that their training and fighting does wonders for their physical wellbeing even if the fights do not! The extensive self-weight training they do along with the hours upon hours of wrestling and grappling really works on not only their physical appearance but their cardiovascular endurance. Wrestling a possibly heavier opponent for any amount of time will increase the heart rate as well helping tone the body as you use someone elses bodyweight to move around with. A great alternative for an overall body workout and a serious sweaty one for you to consider!

Boxing -

Like MMA fighters most boxers have an incredible physique thanks to many hours of training they put in and you could also see yourself build a great cardio base with some heavy bag work alongside some pad work. The constant use of your arms and your core for a base in the fighting stance means you will burn in the upper body after a while of throwing some punches but the stamina you can build throwing some boxing into your regime cannot be overlooked. The footwork and the constant moving and twisting action of throwing a punch makes for a fantastic workout that will have you tired quicker than you might expect.

Tennis -

Given the fitness levels of someone like Serena Williams it is not surprising just how effective playing tennis can be to building up your cardiovascular endurance. Some people underestimate the movement involved in playing tennis but half of the game is getting to your opponent's shots and the other half is anticipating where to be next so the need to be on your balls of your feet and always in motion is very high. This makes for a very hard and vigorous workout and you should be feeling your legs working hard as well as your core with the turning of your body for every shot taken working on your core strength. A very fun alternative to the usual indoor cardio training and it is enjoyed in the summer months more so when you can get your Rafael Nadal biceps out and really let loose on your opponents!

Swimming -

Anyone who has ever swam a few lengths will understand the effort it takes from you and the out of breath feeling as you turn to start another one. Swimming is a fantastic way to get a full body resistance workout in and really make the body work over time in a short amount of time. The work your body does against the water to propel itself along works the arms and legs simultaneously and the average 30 minute fast swim can burn up to 300 calories meaning a slimmer fitter you can emerge. Being in the water also means that any work you do is joint friendly and there is minimal impact meaning your knees or ankles aren’t getting a hammering from the pavements or treadmills.

So there it is! There are so many ways to get your cardiovascular training in and they can be made more fun than staring at the same TV screen on a treadmill for 30 minutes. So keep your training up to date and fun and keep it varied each week as getting fit can be fun as long as you embrace the change in outlook and techniques. So get your tennis shorts on, your gum shield in and your swimsuits out the closet and change your routine to enjoy one of the most challenging parts of staying fit!


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