When it is time to hit the gym for cardio, you may find yourself dragging your feet. Cardio can be so boring, yet so hard. I understand! I hate cardio, but I also love cardio. I enjoy the challenge of working hard. (And I like that it lets me stay lean, so I can eat a little more!) You probably feel the same way. I want to give you some ways to add more love to the love/hate relationship with cardio. Here are three cardio hacks I personally use.
1. Gameify your cardio sessions.
When I first started working out, I would use my competitive nature to keep me going. For example, I would get on the stair climber and see how many steps I took for a 25-minute session. I would note that number and then push myself to beat it the next time I did the stair climber. I kept pushing myself to get faster each session. If this does not work for you, then you may need to find a different trick to push yourself. Think about what motivates you and how your personality works. Turn something small into a game to keep you engaged each session.
2. Make use of your time.
When it is cardio time, make sure you have a podcast, audiobook, or YouTube video ready to go. If you really enjoy music, then have a special playlist ready. Or save a new album you are excited about just for your cardio session. If you can read while using a cardio machine, then go for it. (Just make sure you do not slow down or fall when reading.) Use anything to get your mind off the actual work. Put a towel over the display so you are not constantly watching the clock. Becoming obsessed with the clock will only make your session go more slowly!
3. Do intervals.
You can get the most bang for your buck from cardio sessions by doing intervals. You will burn more fat and the time can pass by quickly. Adding in intervals is easy too. For example, turn up the intensity on your machine and go as hard as you can for 30 seconds. Drop the speed down and recover for 90 seconds. Once your heart rate recovers, go back up for another 30 seconds and then go back down for 90 seconds. Do this for 15-20 minutes. You can even go for 25 minutes if you are looking to lean out. This will help get that bottom row of abs to show.
There is no hack, tip or trick that will get you out of doing the work of cardio. Sometimes, cardio is not fun, just like a lot of things that are good for you. Make a habit out of doing these things whether you want to or not. Connect the work you do during cardio to the results that you are seeking. Hold the vision in your head of what you want your body to look like while you sweat and curse. Understand this work is a necessary step to getting the body that you want. So, get in the gym, set your timer, and work up a sweat!