I’m not the first person to say this and I certaintly won’t be the last:
Cardio is hardio.
I low-key hate it, and always have. You know the running type, who were on the track team and voluntarily put miles and miles on their legs? Yeah, that was never me. During my basketball years, I felt like death every single day. Regardless of how in-shape I was (and during peak season, practicing at high altitude, at 105 lbs, I was in shape), I have always struggled with and detested running with my entire being.
But here’s the good news! Cardio is not limited to running. You can still get a heart-pumping workout in a variety of ways. Here are some of my very favorites.
Going for a Walk
Don’t want to run? Walk instead! I personally am a huge fan of taking long walks around my neighborhood and town in general. I try to dress appropriately for the season (shorts in the summer, cushy layers in the winter), grab my made-for-running moisture-wicking socks (otherwise I get blisters, lol), and put on my bright-blue headphones with some tunes. Sometimes I take my pup, Wally, sometimes I don’t.
Even half-an-hour in the fresh air is better than nothing. It doesn’t have to be fast, adventurous, or anything more than a few laps. A little sunshine goes a long way.
When it comes to working out, I always do it at home. I’m a sucker for Beachbody programs that are half-an-hour or less. Cardio days always pack a punch, and I’m left feeling like I worked hard. Here are some of my favorite high intensity interval training workouts:
- 21 Day Fix total body cardio
- 21 Day Fix cardio fix
- 21 Day Fix Extreme plyo
- 21 Day Fix Extreme cardio fix
- T25 cardio
- T25 speed 1.0
Here are links to the programs, if you’re interested: T25, 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme
Especially topical in the winter months, cross-country skiing is a full-body workout. It’s both fun and difficult, especially if your body isn’t used to the movements. I highly recommend this one on a weekend where you crave some adventure! It’s fun both with a buddy and alone.
As a former ballerina, I’ll always have a soft-spot for dancing (even if it takes much less to get me out of breath these days). It’s so fun to get up and move to the music, especially in the comfort of your home. Here are some of my favorite options:
- Country Heat (Beachbody program)
- Just Dance (I have the Xbox version, though it’s widely available for most gaming consoles)
- Zumba (many gyms and studios offer Zoom classes)
Hiking is such an effective cardio workout that I hated doing it for many, many years. However, I’ve decided to lean into it as best I can, and I’m thankful for that. Between elevation gain and gorgeous sights, hiking is a worthy exercise. If you go out in winter, be sure to wear layers and pack spikes for your shoes.
Here are some great trail options in Colorado:
What about you?
What are your favorite ways to get your heart pumping? I’m always looking for new ideas.
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