I love fitness, but I must admit I like to pick and choose my favourite parts and I tend to avoid the things I hate. I have recently come to realise after taking part in several races that I was not made to be a runner. I also perform poorly in sports like netball, swimming and hockey and as a result you can normally find me on my own, happily lifting dumbells in a quiet area of the gym. When it comes to cardio, I understand. The struggle is real. Getting started is so bloody hard, so here’s a few sneaky tricks I like to use….
Try and improve your time
If you really despise doing cardio then a good incentive is to try and get it done a little quicker each time. So instead doing more to make it harder, just work more intensely doing the same amount of mileage. For example, if you normally run around the block in 15 minutes, try and do it in 14 minutes and so on. You won’t waste any more time on the thing you hate, but you will improve your fitness levels.
Listen to podcasts
I’m sure you’re fully aware that podcasts exist, I’m not going to take credit for informing you about that one. However, I think a lot of people assume that the best thing to listen to during exercise is fast-paced, invigorating dance music. Me on the other hand; I like to while away the hours listening to Dawn O’Porter talk fashion with her pals, Emma Gannon commenting on social media and Sword & Scale deconstructing true crime cases whilst I flail around aimlessly on the cross trainer.
OK don’t get scared now. I promise you won’t die. The beauty of HIIT training is that you’ll feel certain that you’re going to die for very small segments of the workout, but then have time to recover, do it again and all the while you’re actually becoming superhuman! All jokes aside, I much prefer doing a 20 minute HIIT session to a 45 minutes steady state workout that burns around the same calories. It’s also better for building strength, increasing your metabolism and improving overall fitness in a shorter space of time. I would suggest running intervals to start you off, where you sprint for 30 seconds and rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat the cycle until you die, ahem, sorry I mean become a goddess.
Take a class
Cardio doesn’t have to be a lonely affair. If you prefer to be motivated by a fully qualified ball-buster then sign up for a class in your local gym. I find the time passes waaaay quicker when someone else is co-ordinating my workout, combined the the loud music and group setting a 45 minute session flies by and I always work harder than I would on my own.
If all else fails…
Get on that stationary bike and stick on Netflix. Get stuck into a few classic episodes of Always Sunny and before you know it you’ll be done, having successfully exercised like a boss and feeling like a superior being compared to those god-damn bitches from Philadelphia.