Studies have proven time and again that one of the major keys to weight-loss success is engaging in physical activities that you genuinely enjoy and look forward to. Want to know how to spice up your workouts? Check out these seven creative ways to make your cardio workouts more enjoyable.
1. Walk the dog
Do you have a dog? If so, involve your dog in your fitness routine by taking her for a walk or run at the nearby trail or park. Your dog will have fun, and the two of you can bond over exercise. If you don’t have a dog, ask neighbors or friends if you can borrow their dog for the sake of exercise. They might feel grateful toward you, especially if they lack time in their own busy schedules to walk their dogs.
2. Do HIIT workouts
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) allows you to engage in rigorous workouts within a short amount of time for accelerated fat burning. If you’re not a fan of exercise at the moment, you might not be interested in spending 45 minutes or an hour doing cardio. Instead, shorten your workouts to between 25 and 30 minutes by doing short, intense bursts of exercise followed by brief recovery periods. For example, sprint as fast as you can for two minutes, then walk for 30 seconds.
3. Run stairs
If you enjoy running, but have grown bored with the same scenery day after day, swap running for stairs. Run up and down stairs at home or on the bleachers at your local park to get your heart pumping madly while burning more calories in the process. You’ll also build muscle as a result of running up an incline.
4. Laser tag
Laser tag isn’t just for your middle school-aged son and his friends; it’s a fun activity you can do with friends and family that will have you running around like crazy without even thinking about the fact that you’re exercising. Look up local laser tag venues in your area and make plans to go with a group of friends and family members.
Frisbee may not seem like intense exercise at first, but once you’re out in the field, you’ll find your heart pumping harder than usual as you race to catch your partner’s imperfect tosses. Invest in a high-quality regulation-weight frisbee that flies as well as it throws, and let yourself lose track of time while you get in a great workout.
6. Jump rope
In addition to providing you with a great cardio workout, jumping rope is great for your lymphatic system and can help expel toxins from your body. Jumping rope will also help tone and strengthen your calf muscles. Set a goal of jumping for five minutes straight with no breaks, or aim for 200 jumps and see which goal you end up meeting first.
7. Run in time with your favorite music
Who said all workout music has to be fast-paced? Throw together a playlist of all your favorite songs, and make sure you have a decent blend of slow-, medium-, and fast-paced music. Then, walk or run in time to each song. Walk at a brisk pace during the slower songs, and step it up a notch when a fast tune comes on. Music can be a great way for you to get into a fun workout rhythm.