Do you understand the health benefits of regular cardio training but hate the thought of cardio sessions because it bores you to tears? Read on to see what you can do to help.
Cardio workouts are fantastic ways to improve your fitness, burn calories and torch fat but they have one big problem.
It’s possibly the biggest reason why people don’t enjoy cardio workouts, and more importantly why they cannot seem to last longer than 20-30 minutes.
It might also explain why so many pieces of cardio equipment that are purchased for home use end up as clothes hangers.
People begin to dread the workouts and they slowly start to skip their sessions, piling up their laundry in the process.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There is a way to make your sessions more fun, more enjoyable and more exciting and some of the changes are so simple, you’ll question why you didn’t think of it sooner.
So if you struggle with boredom when doing a cardio workout read on, because in this article I am going to give you some amazing tricks to help you pass the time, increase the fun and eliminate boredom when completing a cardio workout at home.
Listen to Music
A tried and tested method used by many, listening to music when you exercise, whether it's cardio or weights, is always a great way to distract your mind and pump yourself full of energy as you tackle the days’ exercise.
The type of music you pick might differ by activity so it’s certainly something you should consider beforehand.
Runners, for example, often prefer more upbeat tunes with a higher BPM so they can run along with the beat, whereas those that exercise on an elliptical, rower or bike may look for a different type of playlist, one that keeps them motivated and helps them to keep going.
Whatever you prefer, music is a great way to add an extra level to your workouts and give you an extra edge.
If you’re training with a set goal in mind, such as trying to lower your 1k split times, then this may not be the option for you, but if you’re looking for a more laid back approach and a way to keep you engaged as you train, then TV could be your friend.
There’s nothing like losing yourself in your favorite drama or reality TV show as you move your body and focus on the show instead.
One of the most common complaints with cardio sessions is the boredom factor, well you can solve that by watching something that you enjoy.
This can be a good method for people that are time poor but also for people that enjoy spending time watching television and movies and will be in the same place for over an hour at a time.
Use Harder Training Techniques
If your idea of cardio is to climb onto the machine and move along slowly for 30 minutes then it’s no wonder you find the whole thing boring. However, by utilizing alternative, more advanced training measures, you can not only give yourself a goal to work towards but you can also find a way to artificially speed up your workout time.
Interval training is ideal for this and a great way to trick your mind.
If you were to run on a treadmill, using 60-second speed work and 30-second recovery intervals, you would only have to do that 7 times to pass 10 minutes. It may not sound like much, but that’s the beauty of intervals, by breaking the larger task down into smaller, more manageable tasks, you’re able to achieve the overall goal.
Focused on the job at hand, the entire workout would feel much quicker than a traditional steady-state stroll and although challenging, it would be over before you know it.
Listen to Podcasts & Audiobooks
In a time-poor world, podcasts, audiobooks, and seminars are becoming increasingly popular.
People often struggle when trying to fit everything that they need (and want) to do into a 24 hour period and self-improvement falls firmly into that category.
Without enough time to dedicate to an activity, it’s easy to start missing things out and neglecting the things that are important for the mind and body. Multitasking, and combining exercise with learning and self-improvement is a sure-fire way to kill two birds with one stone, helping you to expand the mind as you improve the body.
Complete an Online Class
Online classes have become increasingly popular as more and more people look for ways to workout at home without sacrificing the quality of the sessions and luckily, there is a range of different ways to take part.
A standard online search will bring up workout videos that you can use, but a more specialist program can give you an interactive exercise experience that is designed around the piece of equipment you are using.
Peloton, Les Mills, Row Igor, and iFit are just a few of the options available that provide interactive, follow-a-long workouts to be completed on a bike, treadmill, or rowing machine and they can all be completed from your tablet, laptop or phone. Some cardio machines are even more advanced, including a digital screen in the middle of the equipment that has interactive connectivity, allowing you to stream the workouts live.
The point is, its easy to combat cardio boredom when you’re taking part in an interactive workout, being delivered by a professional and challenging you every step of the way.
It’s important to note that whichever method you decide to use, it must be safe to do so.
Trying to play video games whilst running on a treadmill could be dangerous as you need to keep an eye on the tread belt and where your feet are going.
Similarly, trying to look up and watch TV whilst using the rowing machine could lead to bad posture and you experiencing some pain in your neck and back if the TV isn’t at the right height and set up correctly.
Some of this is simple and goes without saying, but you should always consider the safety implications before you begin to exercise to ensure your session doesn’t result in injury.
Effort vs Time
As you begin to distract your mind with podcasts, video games, or your favorite show, you must also ensure that your effort levels do not drop. Some people cannot multitask and if you ever try to have a conversation with them whilst watching TV you will likely be met by a blank stare as they don’t acknowledge anything you say.
The purpose of using alternative measures to pass the time when doing cardio is to distract your mind from boredom, however, this should not be at the expense of effort and intensity.
Being so engrossed in your video game and achieving 70 minutes on the stationary bike may sound positive, but not if you put in less effort than you would normally, burning fewer calories than you could have achieved in 20 minutes.
If you find that you cannot multitask with some of the measures listed above, try one of the interactive classes instead as a way to help you maintain focus.
Some people love cardio and don’t need any distractions, others do not and it’s certainly something that I used to struggle with at times, but not anymore. If you can find a way to occupy your mind as you exercise and still work hard for the duration, then you’ve got a good thing going and you will soon start to see the benefits.
Just ensure that you’re safe whilst working out and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.