Cardio – the word that we all read and think to ourselves “ugh”. A lot of people I know immediately think of running when it comes to the word cardio. However, this should not be the case.
There are tons of other awesome ways to exercise that will give you the same endorphins, pump up your heart rate and make you feel strong after finishing your cardio workout. To be fully transparent with you, I don’t enjoy running – especially lengthy runs. Running doesn’t fall under the category of ‘exciting’ for me. It’s not to say running doesn’t work and fit for many people’s exercise routine – because many of my friends are running addicts and I’m almost sort of jealous…almost. That being said, I’m going to share some of the different ways I get my cardio fix that give me the same ‘high’ as a ‘runner’s high’.
Basic circuit training can be done at home or at the gym with little to no equipment needed. The ultimate goal of circuit training is to get your heart pumping and get you sweating in a short amount of time. Generally, you will perform times exercises one after the other with varying amounts of rest between each exercise. An example of a simple circuit training workout might consist of push-ups, sit-ups, squats, jumping jacks and lunges. These are all body weight exercises and can be done almost anywhere!
Boxing is definitely on the rise for 2019! I’ve seen so many gyms and fitness companies incorporating boxing classes into their programs, each with different approaches in terms of techniques, teaching and class styles. For many, boxing may be intimidating, but it is honestly for everyone. If you’re a beginner, there are classes that will teach you proper form and technique with amazing instructors there for support. You will build up your physical strength over time and it also helps your focus, confidence, breathing and of course, cardio strength. Get out of your comfort zone and hit up a boxing class for a great sweat! Side note: you will also get to hit a heavy bag which will also feel great to release any stress you may be holding onto.
Swimming is a super underrated form of exercise. It truly works your entire boy, head to toe. Not only are your muscles getting toned and strong, your cardiovascular system is working as well. It will make your heart and lungs strong. Swimming has also been proven as a safe exercise option for people with arthritis or disability. Often times, swimming helps to reduce pain or improve recovery from an injury. An hour of swimming almost burns as many calories as running, without the harsh impact on your bones and joints. Unfortunately, we don’t live near an ocean, however, many gyms offer indoor swimming pools. During the summer months, outdoor swimming pools are available around the city and if you’re fortunate enough, you may have one right in your backyard!
Yoga is often associated with deep breathing and relaxation. However, yoga can also be a great cardio workout, especially vinyasa yoga. The term vinyasa means to link movement with breath. This type of class moves at a bit of a faster pace, as you inhale and exhale with different movement. You will move through a sequence of movements and poses to help build strength. Holding many of the poses will teach you to bear your own body weight – including standing poses, arm balances, backbends and inversions. Practicing yoga is for everyone, any body type or any injury you may have as there are always modifications to any pose.
Indoor cycling is a fantastic way to get your cardio in. It’s actually one of my favourites and find it to be my main source of exercise! It is a phenomenal way to get a high-cardio workout, with low impact to your joints. There’s nothing like an indoor class with loud music, a motivational instructor and the energy from 30+ other people in a class getting your heart rate up. There are boutique-style classes and traditional cycling classes, something that suits everyone. An indoor cycling class can keep your heart rate well within a vigorous range for approximately 45-60 minutes and you will burn 350-600+ calories in one class, this is equivalent to running for the same amount of time, with less impact to your body. Grab a friend and venture over to a spin studio to experience an amazing workout, one that you may find you become addicted to – just like me!