Because everyone is different and so are their cardio needs, I want to share 3 great ways to get your cardio. The choice is yours for how you wish to rack up calorie burning cardio time. Each of these is fairly easy and can be adjusted to your individual workout level. Bottom line here (at the start of our post) is to get yourself moving more. As long as you can comfortably do any one (or more) of these three great ways, you will accomplish what you set out to do in regard to your own cardio.
3 Great Ways to Get Your Cardio
Getting in your steps by walking your way to healthy is a great way to get your cardio in each day. Keep in mind that you need to be going at a pace that is more than your normal (walking around throughout the day) and as you are able to get more steps in less time, to challenge yourself to go further and longer.
I began my weight and wellness journey by only being able to go around 2 miles a day. I slowly increased this to 6 miles daily (you can read why that’s the favored number, here) and now average around 10 miles per day with at least 6 of those miles being targeted workout time. I average around 55-60 miles a week, currently, because yes, I do take a day or two from busting it out, each week. I am working toward averaging 70 miles a week with the bulk of those happening during the traditional 5 day work week.
Now. That’s just what I’m doing. You must adjust your walking to your fitness level. But don’t get lazy, either. Set small goals for working up to walking faster and longer to reach your total cardio goal.
Tips for walking your cardio:
- Get good shoes. I can’t stress the overall importance of having the right type of shoe for walking. Especially if you are walking a serious amount of mileage each day. No need to drop hundreds of dollars, either. Do the research (in store and online if needed) and choose wisely. I spent $40 on my memory foam Sketchers™ and I think these are the best shoes I’ve ever owned. And I’ve spent many dollars more to be less satisfied.
- Plot your course. Know where and when you’ll be walking and plan accordingly. I have a pretty straight path that I walk most days, but I have no issue changing it up (keeps the boredom out of your workout routine), either. Figure out a plan for walking indoors and out and stick to it.
- Break up your walking. Depending on the type of job you have, you may feel stressed about adding one more thing to your work day. So break it up. Set small goals if needed, to walk 15-30 minutes at a time and do so several times a day. You’ll be walking miles and miles in no time.
Swimming is probably the best over all cardio for your body. If you can get yourself moving (arms and legs) in the pool, you will be burning all sorts of calories. And working all sorts of muscles, too. Plus, if you happen to be a sweater, you won’t even notice, because you are already wet. **bonus**
(I used to be a wicked gross sweater before WLS. Now, not so much. It’s pretty crazy all the changes going on for me, but this one is in the top 5, for sure.)
Tips for swimming your cardio:
- Get a good bathing suit. Wearing a simple suit while doing your cardio in the pool has several benefits. You don’t want something fancy (I’ve seen some awesome suits that simply make no sense when it comes to actual swimming) and you don’t want anything that has lots of extra fabric. Just something simple (Speedo style, maybe?) to get the job done.
- Plan your swimming into your day. Whether you are able to swim outside or have to find an indoor pool to meet your needs in the Winter, you want to make sure you plan your swim time accordingly. You may be able to go swimming before work and shower etc. right there (if your facilities have facilities). Or maybe a good hearty swim after work to cap the day just right. Whatever you do, make sure you plan it or you will end up ignoring it all together. And it should be said again: Swimming is probably the best over all cardio for your body.
- Don’t fret if you don’t know how to swim (breast, back, crawl, etc.). Just get in there and move your body. I don’t care if you run around the pool (I’ve done this so much it should be its own sport) flapping your arms. Just do it.
If you are fortunate enough to own a bike, get on it. Pedal all around the town or take a nice long ride out into the country. Whatever, wherever, do it. If your biking must be done in the gym, use it as a great diversion from the treadmill or elliptical (another great workout but certainly not my favorite) and switch up your routine often. If you have access to a bike and can ride it, do so.
Tips for biking your cardio:
- Dress appropriately for biking. Don’t wear cumbersome clothing that could endanger you while on the path. You don’t want anything getting caught up in the pedals or tires and worse, the chain.
- Plot your biking course. Figure out a healthy plan for where you want to bike and start pedaling. You can go a lot farther and faster on a bike than while walking, so don’t be afraid to begin with 5, 10, even a 20 mile course. Be mindful of where you are biking and make sure to obey the proper laws for you and your bike.
- Set small goals that will help you build up to many miles on your bike. Push yourself to hit those goals and even crush them by biking longer and farther than you ever thought you could. You’ll be cruising and losing (if that is your goal) in no time.
There are many other ways in which to get your cardio; however, I believe these to be the best three for consistency, building your stamina, and giving you a good cardio workout every time. If you are working on losing weight, make sure you are doing one (or more, it’s good to switch up your workout routine. I said.) of these 3-5 times per week. You’ll want to add weights and other types of resistance in, but for another post another time.
Happy walking, swimming, and biking – go on and get your cardio.
For your health and mine,
Find a good workout partner. He or she doesn’t need to be at your fitness level to join you for some (or more) of your sojourns. Having a friend to navigate some of this cardio with you will encourage you both to be more active and allow you also to challenge yourselves and each other. While completely optional, it’s been said that having a workout partner increases your chance of success in staying consistent with your workout routine. Heck, even your dog can help motivate you to get out there and get it done. You are the boss. Just do it.
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