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Cardio is one of the healthiest things you can undertake, but let’s face it, it can sometimes be downright boring.
Whether you are on the treadmill or elliptical, cardio workouts can seem to drag on.
Do you find yourself constantly looking at the clock as it slowly ticks away?
Thankfully, there are some ways to make cardio workouts much less boring, so you can get through them and have a little fun.
Cardio is a heart-healthy exercise that is integral for your cardiovascular system.
It helps the heart pump more efficiently and reduces your chances of developing heart disease that could be deadly.
Once you know the importance of cardio, you will want to incorporate it into your workout routine a few times a week.
But, how can you make it less boring so you are not counting the minutes? Let this guide give you the answers you need.
Table of Contents
- 5 Ways to Make Cardio Less Boring
- Does Cardio Kill Muscle Gains?
- How to Use Cardio to Increase Your Gains
- Do HIIT Workouts Burn More Calories Than Running?
- Can You Lose Weight by Doing HIIT Alone?
5 Ways to Make Cardio Less Boring
Do you dread your cardio workouts like going to the dentist? If so, you are certainly not alone.
Many people do not enjoy hopping on the treadmill and find cardio grinds to be extremely boring, making them lose interest quickly.
If you are ready to spice up your cardio routine and find it enjoyable again, the following five tips can help.
- If you are a runner, changing up your surroundings can help to boost your inspiration and allow you to reach your fitness goals. Instead of running the same route each time, choose a different path. Consider trail running as a great alternative that allows you to get away from the sounds of the city and experience nature in all its glory.
- Everyone knows cardio workouts can quickly become tedious. When you get bored with a workout, you are less likely to want to do it over time, which could have a negative impact on your health and fitness goals. There are many types of cardio workouts, so there is no reason to stick with what you find mundane. Switch up your workout to include jump roping or HIIT. Higher intensities can help to challenge your body and keep you motivated as you meet your goals.
- When you are struggling through a boring cardio routine, a minute can seem like hours. Why not engage your mind while working out? Try listening to an interesting podcast or your favorite tunes that pump you up. Both of these can make cardio workouts much less boring, adding just enough spice to keep you intrigued.
- Mixing things up quickly can make a big difference in your workout routine. Try bursts of high-intensity workouts, such as running on the treadmill, jumping over to the elliptical, and then hitting the jump rope. Doing bursts of different workouts will keep your mind engaged, so you do not find your cardio routine as boring as before.
- Trying a cardio class can also be helpful. Working out with a group of like-minded positive people can bring a lot of fun to your cardio routine and give you a level of accountability to stick with the program. There are all types of classes available, including virtual ones.
Does Cardio Kill Muscle Gains?
Many people have the mistaken notion if they do cardio it will kill their muscle gains, and this simply is not true.
A longstanding myth in the fitness world is that aerobic workouts cause muscle wasting.
Although some types of cardio workouts may reduce muscle mass slightly, the benefits of cardio far outweigh any risks.
In fact, cardio workouts can get you over a plateau hill and back to gaining more muscle mass.
It is important to note that the higher the impact of the cardio workout, the less likely you are to lose any muscle gain. Workouts such as swimming, cycling, rowing, and elliptical are ideal for hard gainers.
Recent research has proven that moderate cardio workouts, usually two to three days a week, can help to boost your muscle gain more than strength training alone.
It is clear that cardiovascular exercises are vital to the health of the human body, and everyone should be working out.
The benefits are not just for your cardiovascular system, but they extend to your muscle gain aspirations as well.
How to Use Cardio to Increase Your Gains
- Use routines that increase the intensity with lower volume. For instance, try HIIT two to three times a week.
- Try cycling workouts instead of running, because these tend to compliment muscle gain strategies.
- Make sure you separate cardio and strength training sessions by at least six hours, so they do not interfere with one another.
Do HIIT Workouts Burn More Calories Than Running?
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) has gained a lot of popularity over the years, quickly becoming one of the most popular cardio options available. If you have never adopted a HIIT workout regime, you may be missing out.
In a recent study, scientists compared thirty minutes of HIIT, cycling, weight lifting, and running. They found that high-intensity interval training caused participants to burn as much as 25-30% more calories than the other forms of cardio in the study.
Because the participants did a HIIT repetition of 20-second bursts, followed by 40 seconds of rest, they were actually working out a third less than the other types of exercises, making HIIT an ideal choice for burning mega calories, with less time.
One of the top reasons HIIT helps to burn so many more calories is that your metabolism stays high for hours, even after your workout is over. In many studies, HIIT has also been found to shift the body’s burning capacity to burn fat over carbohydrates.
In addition to helping you to lose fat, HIIT has also been proven to help some individuals gain muscle. The trunk and legs are the primary areas where muscle gains can be experienced with HIIT.
Can You Lose Weight by Doing HIIT Alone?
If you are looking to lose weight, HIIT should be a definite addition to your workout regime. But, can you shed the excess pounds with HIIT alone?
To answer this question fully, it is important to delve a little deeper into high-intensity interval training and see how it can be effective in helping people lose their excess weight quickly.
HIIT involves a burst of high intensity, followed by brief rest periods of no more than a minute.
As discussed above, it has been proven that HIIT helps to burn more calories than other forms of exercise, even in less time.
Burning calories is integral in attempting to lose weight.
If you are not seeing a caloric deficit through diet and exercise, your body will not release weight. It takes a caloric deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound.
The number of calories burned during HIIT will vary according to your weight and intensity level, but some people can burn massive amounts of calories in very short sessions.
You can see results with forty-five minutes once a week.
Of course, the more often you participate in HIIT, the faster the weight will drop.
If you incorporate HIIT with a healthy, reduced-calorie diet, the weight is more likely to fall off quicker than with HIIT alone.
Researchers have proven time and time again that short bursts of intense exercise helped participants to lose fat and excess weight.
If you are ready to drop a few excess pounds, now is a perfect time to get started on HIIT training.
With its different bursts of intense activity, you are likely to never get bored as you would running on a treadmill or spending time on an elliptical.
If you have found running on the treadmill and other types of cardio make you zone out and watch the clock, you are not alone.
Many people give up on cardio because they simply cannot stomach the boredom.
If you feel like you are dying watching the clock, use the hints above to get into the best shape of your life, without sacrificing your focus.
HIIT is a great training program to implement into your routine because it brings variety and intensity, making your workouts much more interesting and effective.
There are definite ways to make your cardio workouts more exciting. Increasing the excitement and mixing things up will help you stay on track with your fitness goals.
Do not give up on cardio. It is integral for your overall health and can assist you in losing weight and gaining muscle.