Cardio is key to any weight loss workout routine. You can eat well, lift weights, and even say no to that second cocktail, but if you don’t do cardio regularly than losing weight and maintaining weight will be much more challenging. Treadmills and running are usually the go-to workouts. Running is highly effective for weight loss, and treadmills are typically a lot more convenient than running outdoors, yet it can be a bland workout routine to only the treadmill. Here are some fun workouts to get you off the treadmill, and still reach your goal of being healthy and fit.
Getting outdoors is good enough reason to hike, but it’s also a great cardio swap. Do a quick search online to find the best spots around you, and find some time each week to go hike them. It’s the perfect excuse to walk because there are inclines along the way. It’s also extremely rewarding when you finally make it to the top, and the descent gives you the perfect cool-down. Not to mention, the Vitamin D and fresh air are way better for you than the gym air.
2. Join a sports league
Joining a local sports league is a great way to get in shape, stick to your fitness goals, and have a lot of fun while doing it. Soccer, softball, and tennis are all great examples of local sports you can play that are very cardio-intensive. Yes, there is skill involved, but that will keep you interested in getting better, and provide you with a fun challenge instead of running on the treadmill, which, let’s be honest, requires little skill and mostly willpower to stay on longer. Instead of forcing yourself to run on the treadmill alone and staring at the clock until you hit your goal mile marker, go outside with a buddy or a whole new team of friends and play a sport Having regularly games and meeting and a whole team of people will keep you accountable not to miss it. Plus, you’ll get so lost in the sport and the friendships that you make, you’ll forget you are even getting in shape. Not only will it boost your cardio, but your overall endurance, muscle strength, you will learn a new skill and e few new friends.
Boxing is tough. And there’s something about going to classes with an extremely fit “no excuses” coach that make you realize you are stronger and more capable than you’d even know. Boxing is a skill that is great to learn for self-defense, and the workout as a whole will make your entire body stronger. (Psst, check back soon for my longer post on boxing and the experience I had my first try).
4. Hot Yoga
Hot yoga is an extremely effective cardio and strength workout that kicks the treadmill to the curb. Ok, all the yoga-haters out there, it’s time you open your minds to the reality that yoga can be hard!! It’s a lot more than just breathing and finding zen, which is awesome in and of itself, but hot yoga will kick anyone’s butt. Not only do you get a cardio workout, but you’ll stretch, get an amazing muscle burn, gain body control, muscle strength and flexibility.
Find a set of stairs around you, anywhere in your city, find the time of the day when they are not crowded (usually morning), and lace up. Running stairs can get cut the amount of time you need to workout in half because it’s so intense. This will get your cardio and endurance up, strengthen your glutes and legs, and best of all, get you off the boring ol’ treadmill.