Even the most dedicated cardio-lovers dread the treadmill, elliptical, bike, or other intensive cardio workouts, preferring the confines of home and the Netflix queue.
Taking rest days are needed, but staying active is always important, even if it’s a tiny bit. This loosens up the body and can boost your mood for the rest of the day.
“Those days happen to everyone. I can sympathize!” says Karena Dawn, personal trainer and co-creator of the popular fitness community Tone It Up.
Her solution to push past is an easy fix: Pick an activity you enjoy doing, and use some creativity to combine it with your workout.
“I like getting outside and I like to listen to podcasts,” she said. “So I motivate myself by saying, ‘OK, I’m just going to go for a long walk and listen to a podcast.'” She can zone out on her walk and enjoy the podcast, making it something to look forward to rather than dread.
Keeping it simple is key. The lower barrier to entry – or the less work it takes you to actually start doing cardio – the easier it’ll be to complete.
Fellow Tone It Up co-founder Katrina Scott’s go-to cardio works in a similar way, with an added variable: her baby daughter Bella.
“I have a set of stairs near my house,” she explained. “What I’ve been doing is wearing Bella on me in one of those wearable baby carriers, so that it’s almost like a weighted vest, and we do some short stair circuits.”
You could use the stairs in your home or a local stadium or high school, she added, to squeeze in some heart-pumping sets.
The main takeaway: When cardio sounds like a terrible idea at the moment, turn it into something fun. Do your elliptical reps with a podcast or audiobook, or grab a friend (or your kids!) and take a walk. When simple cardio meets a fun activity, you’re guaranteed to crush your workout, and enjoy it at the same time.
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