Cardiovascular training is an important aspect of fitness which has many benefits on our health. Cardio strengthens our heart, helps promote weight-loss, reduces our risk of high blood pressure, reduces stress, and many others. When you hear cardio, you may immediately go to running outside or on a treadmill even if you hate it. That doesn’t have to be the case. There are many alternatives to get your cardio in. Try a bunch of different types of cardio workouts, keep it simple, and pick the one that you enjoy the most.
Plyometrics are a great way to get your heart rate up and get a cardio workout in. Plyometrics or jump training are performed at a quick rate for a short duration. These workouts also range in a variety of difficulties from jump ropes to the dreaded burpee. Other forms of plyometric training can include box jumps, skaters, and squat thrusters. To perform a plyometric workout pick 3-4 exercises and perform them back to back for 2-3 rounds.
Many gyms have spin classes that you can take part in to get your cardio. Spinning is a great alternative for cardiovascular work and can work up quite a sweat. Even better, this class is easy on the knees, which can be a downside of running. Spin classes are also great for those who like to be guided by an instructor. These classes can be a lot of fun when you find a great instructor who makes the workout feel even shorter than it really is.
High Intensity Interval Training may be the workout for you if you like to incorporate weight training into all of your workouts. These workouts will get the heart rate elevated while working on strength training as well. To perform a HIIT workout, design your workout with some plyometric training in the middle. This is a great way to sneak in your cardio for those who really dread cardio. Many gyms also have HIIT classes available to mix things up and have an instructor-guided class.
Okay, so this really isn’t a category of training, but I’m going to take you back to the good ole’ days of being an athlete. When I was an athlete, we used a lot of cone drills, sprinting, and ladder drills for footwork and speed. If you don’t have cones on hand, use anything you have – water bottles work great! These are also a great cardio workout that I always enjoy doing. Even better, these workouts can be performed anywhere with minimal space and equipment, and they are a quick way to get your cardio in.
Written by GUADS staff member Patrick with contributions from www.verywellfit.com