Cardio is an important variable in your fitness and fat loss goals, but it can get repetitive and monotonous, which makes it easy to quit. There are things you can do to supercharge your cardio sessions, for example, trying intervals or HIIT cardio instead of your usual treadmill slog.
HIIT cardio can be performed in as little as 8 to 10 minutes when you are exerting yourself fully with minimal rest, but it can continue to make your body burn fat for up to 36 hours after your session – meaning you don’t need to perform this style of workout every day. It would be sufficient to perform HIIT as a fat loss and fitness tool only three times per week to still get the same results (or better) as you would from performing 30 minutes a day steady state. Intensity is key, you must spike your heartrate to maximum output and allow only minimal recovery before the exertion. You can perform HIIT on a spin bike, sprinting outdoors, tyre flipping, sled pushing or using any of the usual cardio machines or free weights at your gym.
Being outdoors can also be more enjoyable than performing cardio in the gym. The air is fresher, you get a change of scenery and you can choose a different route every time. Cycling, jogging, walking and using outdoor exercise parks are also free.
Getting friends and family involved in your active lifestyle will benefit them greatly and allow you to spend quality time together. It can also help to have a workout buddy to keep you on track, you will be less likely to quit when you have someone waiting for you, or someone to get competitive with. Having people to chat to while you are exercising makes cardio much more fun, and before you know it you’ll have finished your workout.
There are so many different ways of performing your weekly cardio, you are not limited to the gym. Why not try swimming, dancing, Zumba, rock climbing or skating to replace one of your weekly sessions, or set up a netball, football, tennis or badminton club with a group of friends. An hour's rock climbing can burn anywhere from 500 to 900 calories, and you’ll have a lot of fun doing it.