Although you should focus your training on building endurance for racing by running, it’s not an activity that you should do day in and day out. Your body will not only get used to doing the same exercise and become “efficient” at doing it (think burning less calories, recruiting fewer muscle fibers), but it might get a little boring to you! Let’s change that!
Here are 15 ideas to take your cardio training to the next level – you can substitute these for a run day or even sneak in a little extra cardio throughout the week. Just be sure you are incorporating strength training into your weekly workout plan as well!
- Dancing – This can definitely be a fun one! Whether you take a dance class or grab your girls for a night of painting the town red, this activity burns some major calories. The constant stopping and starting involved in dance is great interval training as well!
- Plyometrics Training – Think Insanity here! While you don’t have to go that intense, incorporating plyometrics will amp up your heart rate and do wonders for your 1 mile time! It’s great for toning the entire body as well. Be sure to do these in short bursts and consider joining a class at a local gym if you are unfamiliar with this type of exercise.
- Step Aerobics – You have passed the class in the gym numerous times, but never had the nerve to go in. Just do it! It may take a few classes to get the coordination down, but you will notice that the more you do it, the faster your body reacts to the cues. This is a great lower body workout as well!
- Elliptical Training – Feeling it in your knees after pounding the pavement? We get it! The elliptical trainer can help you get your cardio in, while reducing some of the impact.
- Climbing Stairs – Two options here: Take your workout outside to a park or office complex that has tons of stairs, or stay indoors at your gym and climb some stairs. Either way, this is an excellent choice for fat burning and increasing your cardiovascular endurance.
- Swimming – If you have access to a pool, consider using it! Swimming can be both fun and enjoyable and a great way to add some non-impact cardio to your workouts.
- Play Basketball or Softball – Find a court or get outside! Running up and down the court or the bases is the perfect fun distraction to cardio! This is a great activity to include your kids in as well!
- Hiking – Climbing mountains and exploring your surroundings offers more toning and cardiovascular benefits than you may think. Go hiking for an hour or two and you just might burn 600-700 calories!
- Kayaking – If you have access to a kayak or can rent one for the day, the upper body workout that you will get as you paddle (not to mention the cardio training) is worth it alone! You will have so much fun, you won’t realize you are sneaking in a workout!
- Walking – Think this isn’t a good enough workout for the day? Think again! Walking can increase your heart rate and put you right in the “fat burning” zone with your heart rate. Try to kick it up a notch by finding a hilly area or extend the mileage.
What do you do for cardio training when you aren’t running? Comment Below