The number one complaint I hear from my personal training clients about doing cardio for weight loss is “it’s so boring”. Many compare spending any amount of time on a cardio machine to running on a hamster wheel. Here are some tips to make your cardio more tolerable if not fun.
1. Get outside. No one said cardiovascular exercise must be done in a gym, on a machine. Here in San Diego we live in a beautiful city with a lot of sunshine. Get out and enjoy it. Exercising outside is a great way to break up the monotony of cardio. You can vary the resistance and time by changing your route and are more apt to push yourself when you need to travel somewhere in order to get back home, as opposed to cranking up a machine just to make it harder.
2. Bring a friend. When engaged in conversation, the time can fly by. It’s also a great way to catch up with someone and stay motivated when you have a workout buddy by your side.
3. Music. Fast paced, upbeat music can give you the added kick you need to get yourself into action. Just as dancing is a natural expression of movement to music, you will find your pace of exercise matching the beat you are listening to as well. Why do you think they play dance music in group aerobics classes? And speaking of…
4. Take a class. Having someone else lead you through a workout can change it up and keep your body guessing.
5. Read a book or magazine. Use the time to catch up on your reading. Again keep your mind stimulated. Don’t just watch the clock.
6. Meditate. I wouldn’t recommend closing your eyes on a treadmill or during any activity where you could fall and get hurt. But depending on the activity, cardio can be a great time to meditate or work on visualization exercises. Or just do it with your eyes open.
Regular cardio, like anything is a habit. If it is not enjoyable on some level you will not likely stay at it for long. Find a way that works for you so you look forward to it. If you can do that you will have a lifetime of success. J. NyQuist