I hated doing cardio.
It's now blatantly clear why cardio was a loathsome chore: It was once done for the sole purpose of burning calories. I wanted to burn calories to lose fat. I wanted to lose fat so I would like my body more (or at least, I hope, I don't like it less).
If the only reason you're doing something is because you don't like the way your body looks, you probably aren't going to enjoy it.
Cardio was once a punishment for having (which I perceived to be at the time) too much fat on my body.
Cardio don't need to suck
While cardio, or conditioning work as it is also called, was once a heavy chore, it is now an enjoyable activity. Or at least something I'm not afraid to do.
Why? What changed? My reasons for doing cardio are entirely different.
Cardio is no longer just something I do to burn calories, and it is not a punishment to overeat. It's a tool that makes it easier for me to play and enjoy my favorite hobbies. Cardio, now, is strictly for the performance and the health benefits it offers. It's an investment and a training program to take care of yourself to make sure, for example, that I don't run out of breath too quickly on a strenuous mountain hike.
Through my dedicated fitness training, I tackled longer, harder hikes than in previous years and completed them with energy to spare. (Previously, I would stumble off the track, completely exhausted.)
Being able to do the things I love with more ease and enthusiastically tackling ever greater challenges with confidence is all the motivation I need to stick to my conditioning regimen. I don't have to pass up the hikes as they are a bit too long or exhausting.
Doing something because you know it will allow you to do the things that are important to you, better or with more confidence, it will be much less zero.
Cardio, fat loss and your health
Cardio is not mandatory for fat loss. A calorie deficit, the only factor in fat loss, is most easily achieved by consuming fewer calories; it is easier, after all, to do not eat 500 calories than to burn the equivalent while exercising.
However, did you know that three quarters of American adults do not minimum weekly activity guidelines (150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise, or a combination of)? It stands to reason that people should be encouraged to move more often, not less.
Recommended reading: Screw fat loss
While cardio isn't mandatory for fat loss, it does offer many health benefits that shouldn't be overlooked. Knowing that cardio is a short and long term investment in your health should also make it more enjoyable to perform.
Now on to the good stuff ...
How to make cardio (more) enjoyable
Do what you love or which is most accessible. Do you have favorite cardio equipment (or at least one that you don't despise)? Use it. My preference is a type of bike as it doesn't require any skill. If you don't have access to cardio machines, do something like brisk walking or even jogging.
Set performance-based goals. What activities or hobbies do you enjoy - or want to try - that could be improved with cardio? If you don't like a lot of physical activity, what would you like to do better or easier in your daily life? Follow your children or grandchildren? You don't get tired of gardening work?
Have reasons for doing cardio that have nothing to do with losing weight. Too many people know what it's like to do cardio just for the purpose of burning fat. To help boost motivation, note the benefits it will provide: better conditioning, improved health, increased physical and mental strength, supplementing a favorite hobby, relieving stress, to name a few. some.
Make it part of your current schedule. If you take your children to the park or to a sport, take a walk while they play. Or do a quick workout during your lunch break. Look for opportunities in your current schedule to do cardio work. Remember, even 15-minute sessions offer benefits and add up over time. High intensity intervals are also a great option to save time.
Do whatever makes you move. Getting on cardio equipment isn't the only option. Do whatever gets you moving at a brisk pace. Walk your dog, go for a hike, dance naked in your living room, ride a bike to work. It's not what you do that matters; it's that you are doing something, consistently.
Recommended reading: What is the best type of cardio for you? This article discusses the different types of cardio (unstructured activity, low intensity steady state, high intensity interval training) and how to choose the best one (s) for you in addition to sample workout routines.
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Plyometric exercises, like box jumps and burpees, are a one-way ticket to feeling like an all-around badass because not only will they help you build strength, but explosiveness ( or power ), speed, and agility, too. Those last three perks don’t come from strength training alone, so it’s key to round out your sport routine with jump training ( another name for plyo ).
All plyo movements require your groupes de muscles to stretch and contract at a rapid pace, which helps them become more explosive. So, unsurprisingly, they’re considered a intensity workout. The benefit of firing up your muscles this way, though : It spikes your heart rate ( oh hey, cardio ) and burns *all* the kcal.
Before you jump into plyo training, you want to feel solid when it comes to stability, balance, and core strength. But aside from that, the beauty of it is that you can scale plyo to your fitness level and that it is totally beginner-friendly. Can’t jump up onto a three-foot-tall box ? Start small ! The most important thing is that your movements are quick; they don’t have to be BIG. As you feel more ne change pas and powerful, amp it up !
I like to incorporate two or three plyometric exercises into the beginning of my workouts after my warm-up. Since they demand so much of your bod, you don’t want to go into them already fatigued from a bunch of other moves. Want your entire workout to have plyometric vibes ? You can do that, too. Just be ready to feel the burn in ways you’ve never felt it before.
Start standing facing a plyo box ( about two-feet away from it ). Rise up onto balls of feet and swing straight arms over head, then bend knees and push hips back into a hinge position and swing arms back behind body to gain momentum to explode up off floor and jump up onto the box. Land in a squat position, with knees bent, feet flat, and hands in front of chest. Then stand up straight and step back down to starting place. That’s one rep.
Start in a plank place, then jump feet forward outside of hands. Drop butt below knees, lift torso up, and raise hands to chest level. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet under hips next to a plyo box, bent forward to place both hands flat on the top of it. Press through hands, brace core, and kick feet up and back towards glutes to hop body over to opposite side of box. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with hands at sides. Hop up into the air. Upon landing, squat down, press hands into floor, and kick feet up into air higher than shoulder height. Let feet land directly under body, then hop back up. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet under hips to the right of a plyo box. Rise up onto balls of feet and lift arms overhead, then with momentum, push hips back into a hinge position and swing arms back. Use this oomph to press through feet while swinging arms forward to explode up off floor. In mid-air, rotate entire body degrees to the left and land in a slight squat position with hands in front of chest on top of the box, knees bent and feet flat. Stand up straight, then step back down to starting position. That’s one rep.
Start in a plank place with shoulders stacked over wrists and core engaged. Drive right knee toward chest, then return to plank and quickly repeat with the left. Keep alternating sides as quickly as possible. That’s one rep.
Start standing on right foot at far right end of mat or workout space with left leg bent, left foot lifted and crossed behind right leg, left arm bent and crossed in front of body, right arm behind back, and torso tilted slightly forward. Take a big hop to left switching arms and legs to mirror move on opposite side. Jump back to start. That’s one rep.
tera start, stand with feet together and hands at sides. Then, lift arms out and overhead while jumping feet out past shoulders. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet just outside of shoulders holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of body, arms extended straight toward floor. Lift right foot up off mat and behind body while bending at elbows to swing weight over left shoulder. Quickly hop from left foot to right while straightening arms and drawing dumbbell diagonally across chest toward right hip, torso and gaze follow weight. That’s one rep. ( Make sure to switch your starting foot for the deuxième round. )
Get into a plank position, with shoulders stacked on top of wrists. Keeping core engaged, tap right shoulder with left hand while jumping both feet out wide to sides. Return to start, then repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.