7 Unique Ways To Make Cardio Fun

Written by Elly McGuinness

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Cardiovascular (cardio) training is an important component of any workout programme. From reducing blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels, to boosting mood and productivity, to helping with weight management and improving your immune system, the benefits are many. We explain how you can also make cardio fun, with 7 unique and exciting ways!

It’s not uncommon for cardio workouts to be given a label of “long and boring” and tossed into the category of a “have to”, rather than a “want to” workout. However, there are so many ways to make cardio workouts interesting and fun. Scrap the “long and boring” label for good with these ideas to spice up your cardio routine in 2023.

1.     Change things up and try something new

The common saying “variety is the spice of life” can be applied to your cardio workouts. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to spend an hour slogging it out on the treadmill or stationary bike to get your cardio workout in.

If you love the treadmill or stationary bike, then go for it! However, if these modes of exercise often evoke feelings of dread – and feelings of dread are not conducive to being motivated long-term. Thankfully, there are a bunch of other choices that are more effective and enjoyable, many of which you can do quickly and easily at your home.

Changing your cardio up regularly can help to keep it interesting. It also helps challenge your body in different ways, so your body adapts and keep seeing progress. Additionally, if you try something you’ve never tried before you might just discover something you really love.

Think outside the box with creating a fun cardio routine. Here are a few suggestions to make a fun cardio routine programme!

  • Splash about in the local pool with the kids
  • Try something fun and invigorating at your home, like dancing or boxercise (the more you flail your limbs around the better)
  • Use available props like stairs, chairs and water bottles to step, do half burpees and move your body around in creative ways.
  • Try a hobby, like martial arts, canoeing or wall-climbing
  • Take your cardio workouts outside. Just moving your normal routine out into the garden changes the scenery and makes things more interesting than the gym, and you might enjoy the fresh air too
  • Grab a skipping rope. You can build it into simple, yet very effective cardio workout. Do short bursts of 30 seconds and then mix it up with a few simple body-weight exercises.

2.     Make it enjoyable

This point is an extension of the first. It’s a simple concept, yet many people still subject themselves to forms of cardio that they don’t enjoy. If you’re not enjoying your cardio workouts, ask yourself why. You may have chosen a form of cardio that’s not quite right for you, or maybe you’re just spending too long doing it.

If your workout just feels too long, try shorter bursts of higher intensity. If you haven’t quite found the right mode of cardio activity for you, try one of the suggestions in the previous point, or another option that you like the sound of. It’s amazing how much you can get out of a varied at-home workout.

Check out our blog “Are Home Workouts Effective?” to find out more, including a ready-made home workout you can do right now. Other cardio workout ideas include dancing, swimming, hiking, or even trampoline workouts!

3.     Add music or some form of entertainment to your workout

Some people find extra motivation by listening to uplifting music. You don’t need to settle for the standard songs that are repeatedly played at your local gym. Instead, create your own workout playlist that inspires you. Your place, your tunes – so turn up the volume and get inspired.

Aside from music, you could listen to your favourite podcast to help take your mind off the cardio workout at hand. Some people enjoy listening to the radio or watching TV as a distraction during their cardio sessions. If this works for you, just make sure you’re still able to work at the intensity you need to for a great workout!

4.     Try working out with a training buddy

A bit of moral support can be really helpful when it comes to making your cardio workouts more enjoyable. Link up with a friend to do workouts together, or even connect with them online while you do your session.

Our online personal training service enables multiple people to tune in from different locations, led by an expert trainer to give you a fun, varied and sociable workout with a partner or one or more friends to help you stay motivated.

Alternatively, find a buddy or a small group of friends to do your cardio with. You might really enjoy the social aspect of catching up with each other and the fact that you’re working on your fitness at the same time.

[Find out more in 5 Amazing Benefits of Having a Training Partner”]

5.     Change things up with intervals

Aim for 2-3 cardio sessions in a week and you’ll soon start to notice the difference in your fitness and how you feel. Once you’ve got a routine going, you can spice things up by adding intervals into your workout. Intervals allow you to work at a higher intensity level for a shorter period of time. They can offer an effective approach when you don’t want to spend loads of time doing the same thing, but still want great results! We’re a huge fan of interval training (or HIIT) for a fun, varied and interesting way to get fit.

There are endless ways of doing interval training, and the techniques can be applied to many types of cardio. A simple way to get started is to get a timer app (search “Tabata” in your app store), and set your timer for 30 seconds exercise, 30 seconds rest, and pick 4 exercises you can rotate around – like star jumps, stepping, skipping, half-burpees on a chair, dancing or boxercise.

[Find out more in HIIT vs Steady State Cardio: Which is Better?”]

6.     Make it a combination workout

Depending on your goals, you don’t necessarily need to do separate cardio and resistance training workouts. Try interspersing your strength training workouts with short bursts of cardio. This approach will keep your heart rate up throughout the workout and really increase the overall intensity.

7.     Work with a trainer

A personal trainer can help take the thinking out of your workouts. All you need to is show up, and your trainer (who knows you, your fitness and your background) and help you get the most out of your workouts, keeping it fun and interesting, and pushing you to a level that leaves you feeling energised.

Trainers can also sense what kind of day you’re having, and can support and encourage you, and take you through alternative workouts to help you improve, even if you’re a bit tired or stressed. Get extra support, encouragement and new ideas to keep things fun AND accelerate your progress.

Get in touch with our at-home personal trainers to find out more.

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