Get Your Cardio on…Creatively!

We’ve all heard the phrase, “get your heart rate up and your body will burn the calories.”  But sometimes we just don’t know what to do with ourselves…we don’t feel like running, we don’t feel like biking, we don’t feel like jumping rope so we choose to do nothing.  And what good does that do for us?  Absolutely nothing.  So, I’m here to tell you to get moving in a creative way.  Sometimes you just gotta do crazy (yet safe) things that trick your mind into working out when it’s telling you it rather be at home sitting on the couch with your feet propped up and your favorite show on the television.  For those days where you have no desire to sweat, no desire to work out, no desire to lace up your shoes and hit the pavement, then these different workouts are just for you.  As seen in the video above, all you need is a treadmill and the ability to set the incline and speed…from there, you will do 10 minutes of walking lunges on an incline followed by five sets of 30 seconds (on each side) of lateral slides on a flat incline and set at a speed of 3.4 (or slower if you are new to doing lateral slides on a moving treadmill), and finished up with five thirty second sprints on an incline of your choice.  For the remainder of this discussion, all you will need is about 20-30 minutes to spare, some good tunes to listen to, and your flowing locks securely tied back in a ponytail.

Sometimes we get lucky and our cardio encompasses an overall body workout.  Throw in a stability ball and you challenge every fiber within your body – from your head to your toes.  As seen here, by balancing on a bosu ball, you challenge your upper body and core muscles. With the modified mountain climber, you engage your glutes and leg muscles, causing the body to work harder by maintaining its balance and activating your large muscle groups.  Cardio doesn’t have to be boring, and as long as you use proper form (keep your back flat, your core engage, and your forearms firmly pressed into the bosu ball) you can successfully burn plenty of calories within a short period of time.  With this routine, try doing 5 sets of 10 per leg, resting for thirty seconds in between sets.

When you’re looking for an even greater challenge, try these burpees on for size.  I by no means am a fan of them, but when I am short on time and in need of a quick cardio routine, this heart-racing number gets the job done.  For those not familiar with this workout (or for those with bad knees or a bad back) try modifying it by not jumping, and instead of jumping out to get into a push-up position, simply extend one leg after the other and then jump back into the starting position to explode back up into the air.  For an added challenge, try doing these for a minute straight.  IF this is too challenging, try doing them for either 30 seconds or for a rep of 10.  Build up your endurance by incorporating these into your daily routine and before you know it, you’ll be a burpee champ!

Luckily for us, there are many options out there to try if you despise running, swimming, cycling, or any of the other common forms of cardio.  By changing up your routine you constantly trick your body into burning calories and you keep yourself from getting bored.  Just like everything in life, you gotta keep your cardio routines interesting or you’ll get bored and easily skip your workout for the day, week, month or year!  It’s all about finding something you enjoy and then increasing the challenge each time – either by adding time, increasing the speed, or adding in additional reps.  Whatever it may be, just remember, there is more then one way to burn off that burger and fries you ate, just make sure you have fun (or at least a little fun) while doing it!

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