Are you a believer that #CardioisHardio? Do you dread doing cardio at the gym? To no surprise, you are not alone. Even if you like cardio there are some days where you just don’t want to do it! We all know that we should do cardio, we all know the benefits of cardio but there are days where the struggle is so real.
Take it from me! I run marathons, I teach spin on the weekends, and I am one of the top tower runners in the USA, and I still have my days where I just DO NOT WANT TO DO CARDIO! Yesterday at the gym I contemplated life while looking at the stair mill. It was either the “stairway to heaven” (the stairs) or the “dreadmill” (the treadmill). I picked the stairs, for 10 minutes and hated every minute of it. HA!
9 Tips To Help You Enjoy Cardio
1. Have a reason for doing cardio
“Just because” won’t cut it. Have a reason for getting that heart pumping. It can be a big reason like getting healthy, lose weight, to be able to play with your kids/grandkids. Or it can be short term like wanting to run your local 5k race. Either way, you have to have a reason for doing cardio other than just because! This will also make your cardio sessions more intentional.
2. Plan your workouts and schedule cardio in
Plan what days you will do cardio. Check out class schedules, weather, time of day and sunlight. Plan ahead! Failure to plan is planning to fail. If you plan out when you’ll take the water aerobics class but show up and just don’t feel like doing the class, have the flexibility to be able to put some earphones in and walk on the treadmill instead. If it turns out to be a nice weekend opt to skip the gym and go for a trail run instead! Either way, stick to your plan of doing cardio (however you get it done).
3. Listen to all of your favorite songs or podcasts
Pick out your top 5 songs and listen to those while you do cardio. I enjoy listening to motivational pep talks too! You can also listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Just make sure whatever you are listening to won’t affect the intensity of your cardio.
4. Slow down, breathe, and catch your breath
When I first starting running I would be disappointed in myself if I had to take a break to catch my breath. I thought stopping was a sign of failure. Now, I realize that sometimes it’s okay to slow down and take a break. I wouldn’t be where I was today if I didn’t stop to take a few breaks along the way. Push yourself for sure, but do your cardio at your own pace.
5. Set small achievable goals
Set small goals that you can achieve in a few weeks. There are several goals you can set, like time, distance, or weights. You’ll stay on the course if there’s light at the end of the tunnel! These goals don’t have to be monumental like running a full 26.2 mile marathon but could be, running 1 mile, running for 1 minute, etc…
6. Use a fitness tracker
Using a fitness tracker can help you track your progress, allows you to plan running routes, saves your workouts and progress, and it will also let you know the distance you are traveling, steps you take, and even how many hours you sleep. This can be a great motivator to help you stay on top of your progress, plus who doesn’t love a new gadget to play around with?
7. Share your cardio success with us on social media
If you didn’t post it did it ever happen?
Sharing your cardio success on social media will help you stay active, push harder, and keeps you accountable. Join social media groups that give weekly/monthly challenges and tag and post with them. This will be a great way to track your progress, remind yourself where you started, and keep you going!
8. Try new things
Try new classes, new equipment, or new running routes. Keep things fresh, who knows maybe you’ll actually enjoy Zumba! I tried Spin class even though I didn’t think I could ever survive the class because it looked so intense. I ended up absolutely falling in love with the class, made tons of friends, and loved the music. Jump 7 years later and I’m 4 years into teaching Spin. You don’t know what you might like until you try it.
9. Don’t worry about anyone else
Don’t worry about what you look like, or what others are doing. Remember that Friends episode when Rachel was too embarrassed to run with Phoebe in Central Park because of how she ran? Run like Phoebe. Just focus on you!