I have never identified as a runner. People tell me that since I am tall and have long legs that I am built for running. I beg to differ. Cardio had always been my least favorite component of fitness. I could swing some weights around all the live long day but making me do a half hour of cardio was miserable. However, I know that in order to see results from your workouts you have to mix up what you do. I was in a rut where I just liked to do my kettle bell and yoga classes. Those are good but I noticed that I plateaued and I needed to change some things up. So, I would make myself go for the occasional run.
I noticed that once I started mixing in running and other cardio that I started to see results. I became leaner and my muscles actually started to pop! I felt like I was becoming less ‘puffy.’ Non-runners can relate that this was actually a little disappointing (like “aw shoot you mean running works?! That means I actually need to do it, dang it”). I wanted to just stay in the weight room and get a good work out in there! But I knew that if I wanted to keep seeing results I needed to keep things changing.
I started to introduce new forms of cardio that didn’t seem as boring or scary to me. One of my favorites is still walking fast on the treadmill with a very high incline. This spikes your heart rate and burns your buns and its not even running! I will put on some Netflix on my phone and walk until my episode of FRIENDS or Parks and Rec is over.
Power walking outside is a good one too. This is low impact on your joints but pumping your arms and legs will get you speed without the bounce. Try doing this at work when you have a break! Just keep some tennis shoes under your desk and throw them on for 15 minutes during your work day.
Other times I will do a cardio warm up before my weightlifting. I jump, dance, row, or skip around the gym for five minutes to get my heart rate up. Then I jump into three sets of weight exercises, stop and do another cardio piece for a minute, then jump into another three sets, and repeat! This way the cardio is being mixed in and your heart rate remains high while you are lifting.
After I started doing these more and more it stopped being something I dreaded but more just part of my routine. Plus, when you start seeing results, it makes it a lot easier to keep up with. Make sure you have good playlist and just get moving!
Dancing in the kitchen while you cook counts too folks! Not to mention shopping. Shopping definitely counts.