5 Cardio Hacks

Cardio. It seems that while some of us love the high that it gives us, others would rather stick to resistance training and avoid it at all costs. Regardless of which side you're on, there can be times where it is a great idea to add it into your programme, this may be:

  • To burn more calories, making it easier to be in a caloric deficit
  • For heart health
  • Conditioning work to assist lifts or sport

While the health benefits are clear, many find themselves skipping it day after day because they hate it!

Here are some tips and tricks to make cardio a little more bearable:

 

Do cardio before your lift.

While long durations of high intensity cardio are likely to be detrimental to your weights session, a 10 minute power-walk to warm up is a great way to get your blood flowing, warm your joints and get in the right head space for a good session. Not to mention, you’ll be burning a few additional calories! You could also add in a second round of cardio post session if you have a short attention span. Two bouts of 10 minutes seems a lot less intimidating than 20 minutes in one go.

 

Watch videos.

Nothing will make your cardio drag like clock watching. Put your headphones on and watch some motivational videos on YouTube while you complete your cardio. You never know, watching your idol train or hearing a motivational speech might even push you to crank up the intensity!

 

Try HIIT or functional training.

It is completely fine to hate power-walking on the treadmill. Just because the people around you all do their cardio on a certain machine or for a certain length of time, doesn’t mean that you should. The best form of cardio is the one you enjoy and can stick to. Perhaps you could plan a fat burning circuit using battle ropes, slam balls, a prowler, etc. Or do high intensity interval training where you go to max effort for around 20-40 seconds then have a minute or so recovery time between rounds. Not only will this burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, it is arguably more beneficial for increasing fitness levels than LISS.

Have an accountability partner.

Ask a friend to meet you at the gym at a set time a few days a week for a cardio session. Having someone to be accountable to can be one of the biggest motivators to get things done. Promise to push each other and be supportive and positive throughout the process. You can celebrate the results together later!

 

Set a goal.

Set a goal which makes it near impossible to skip out on cardio. Book yourself in to do a 5k in a few months, or buy an outfit for an occasion in a size down. Whatever it is, find something that pushes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to work harder.

About the Author

Savannah Westerby, BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition. IG:@savannahwesterby
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