Cardio Variety

Cardio can get boring real quick. Below, are different cardio options you can try to get and stay lean without the boredom.

 

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Cardio Kickboxing

This would fall under steady-state cardio, but the intensity can vary. I started working out nearly thirteen years ago (at the time of this writing), and cardio kickboxing has always been a favorite of mine. Kickboxing is an enjoyable alternative to jogging, the stair stepper, or other traditional forms of steady-state cardio. Cardio kickboxing is available at many local gyms. For exercise at home, there are many digital options via Amazon Instant Video and free fitness channels on Roku (e.g. PopSugar Fit and GymBox).

If you decide to buy a cardio kickboxing program, I recommend checking out free content online before buying. This will allow you to see which instructor’s style is best for you, without putting up money. CollageVideo.com is a great place to look. The site has a feature that allows you to preview videos before buying. This is great because the exercise intensity and the complexity of movements can vary from instructor to instructor. Some great instructors are Nicole Steen and Amy Bento. If you have an exercise OnDemand channel through your television company, you can check there also. The point is, you can find cardio kickboxing programs everywhere.

Cardio dance

Cardio does not need to be gut-wrenchingly hard, but it needs to get you sweating and breathing. Hip-hop dance and salsa dance, are great cardio dance options. Some excellent at home options are Masala Bhangra by Sarina Jain and Zumba. I engage in this form of cardio a few times per month. The intensity for an activity like this should be moderate, and the duration, 45 minutes to an hour to get a good burn.

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Cardio between weight training sets

This is my favorite option, and it’s great for fat burn. Start by choosing a handful of plyo or moderate intensity cardio movements to do between weight training sets. I’ll often start with two bouts around the gym track, which I do between each set of my first exercise. Then I’ll choose, for example, rapid toe taps on a bench or step between sets of my second exercise. Then for my third weight training exercise, I’ll choose yet another cardio move. The type of cardio you do between sets hardly matters. All that matters is that you get yourself breathing.

HIIT

High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is an excellent form of cardio. It can also be done in less time than all the above while creating more of a burn. HIIT movements must be high intensity, such as full-on sprints, plyos, and high resistance or weighted cardio movements. These high-intensity movements are done for a short duration, followed by a low-intensity movement for recovery. See below for an example.HIIT should not be done for a long duration. Twenty minutes is optimal. A longer duration can be too taxing for the body and require a few days of recovery. This can interfere with training other muscle groups — never put cardio above weight training, map out your training schedule carefully.

HIIT should not be done for a long duration. Twenty minutes is optimal. A longer duration can be too taxing for the body and require a few days of recovery. This can interfere with training other muscle groups — never put cardio above weight training, map out your training schedule carefully.

HIIT workout example:

  • 3-minute jog warm-up followed by brief stretch and ankle rotation
  • Sprint 60 seconds
  • Walk for 120 seconds to 180 seconds
  • Repeat sprints and walk in between for a total of twenty minutes
  • Cooldown: 5 – 10-minute walk or jog, then stretch

Variety is important for life-long fitness. Doing the same routine year in and year out is just setting yourself up for a plateau, long before the year even ends. The more options you give yourself the quicker you’ll reach your goal(s) and keep it interesting. I recommend changing your cardio routine every week to two weeks. You can change it more often if you prefer. I do a different form of cardio every other or every two workouts. One day I’ll train on the stair stepper, and the next, I might choose to do kickboxing. This change will not hinder your results. When it comes to cardio, intensity and duration are the only requirements you need to meet. How you meet those requirements are up to you, just do it.

This article is from, “Your Quick Guide to Fitness Longevity” – by Sylvia Petro

MEET SYLVIA PETRO — THE BROKE, FIT SINGLE MOM: As an athlete of over 15 years, and a broke single mom for most of that time, I created this site to aid not only broke single parents to a life of fitness, but anyone who believes the road to fitness requires a lot of cash or time. In reality, the road to fitness is paved with knowledge and firm principles; informing readers about mastering both of those building blocks is my goal.

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