Cardio is such an effective form of exercise. It helps to strengthen your muscles, burn fat and increase your stamina. But, the trouble with cardio is that itâ€™s easy to fall into a cardio rut. Cardio ruts are what happens when you go on a run every morning to the exact same park, or when you spend 30 minutes on the same exercise bike doing the same spin routine each afternoon at the gym.
The best way to get the most out of a cardio workout is to keep the body guessing. So, to help you put an end to your cardio ruts, here are seven awesome types of cardio that will allow you to maximise your workout results.
If youâ€™re a runner, itâ€™s easy to just map out a route and stick to it. But, if you want to make the most out of your morning runs, sprints are the way to go. Invest in a couple of witchâ€™s hats â€“ or even just pick a spot between two trees â€“ that can map out your sprint circuits. Then, set yourself a routine, interchanging running sprints with sets of high knees and gallops.
The ultimate in cardio exercises, burpees are feared and adored in equal measure. Start by jumping into the air with your arms above your head. End your jump in a squat position and place your hands on the floor to shoot your legs out behind you in a push up position before bringing your legs back to squat and starting again.
The introduction of this article paid out those people who get into a spin class rut, but if you vary your routine, it is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise. Try and use your bikeâ€™s gradient settings to up the pressure, or take a spin class at a different gym or with a different instructor. Youâ€™ll be feeling the difference before you know it!
Youâ€™ll feel a little silly at first but thereâ€™s something about getting your body weight off the floor that makes for a seriously good workout. Star jumps, tuck jumps and straight pin jumps are all good cardio movements to get your heart pumping â€“ alternatively, why not jump rope?
Let off some steam with a boxing class. Youâ€™ll work up a sweat, and even learn some self defence skills that could come in handy down the track. Winning.
Thereâ€™s a reason why dancers are so hot â€“ itâ€™s because dance is actually pretty hard. Your local gym or dance school should offer a variety of classes but, for maximum cardio benefit, take a class in jazz ballet. The technical knowledge required is minimal, and the music will be nice and boppy, too, which is always good for making sure that youâ€™re maintaining a good pace. Alternatively, Zumba is a great way to burn that fat and get those hips moving!
When we think of cardio, we tend to think of gym classes and running routes, but you can get a solid cardio workout underwater, too. Lap swimming will strengthen your cardiovascular fitness, and is a good option for people with stress fractures and other injuries that have taken them out of their regular exercise routines.
Frances Ward is a student from Sydney. She loves taking cardio classes at her local Fitness First.
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