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How to Incorporate Cardio into Your Workouts

If you find it difficult to find motivation for cardio, know that you are not alone. However, with a few adjustments and by trying new approaches, you can learn to incorporate cardio into your workout routine.



Incorporating cardio into your regular workout routine can be beneficial for both your physical and mental health. While many people associate cardiovascular workouts with weight loss, the benefits of cardio extend far beyond body composition.


According to the Cleveland Clinic, adults should aim for at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular training per week. Despite this recommendation, only 28% of Americans actually get enough cardiovascular training in their routines.


Cardio doesn't need to be something you dread! Below, this blog post will discuss several creative ways to incorporate cardio into your existing workout plan.


Add Interval Training


Internal training is one of the simplest ways to get your heart rate up and try some cardio during your workout. Interval training can be incorporated into a strength training workout, offering a perfect combination of both types of exercise.


For example, during weight lifting or bodyweight exercise, add an interval of cardio in between sets. This might look like one minute of running in place or jumping jacks. With many different options for this, choose a cardio interval activity you enjoy, or change it up to keep your workouts challenging. These short bursts of exercise can help strengthen your heart muscles, teaching your body to pump blood more efficiently.


Try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)


If you enjoy interval training during strength training workouts, you might also enjoy a specific form of interval training known as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This type of workout involves periods of high-intensity cardio followed by a lower-intensity cardio exercise.


For high-intensity interval training workouts, the goal is to challenge your heart to get to 70% of its maximum rate during short bursts of exercise. These short bursts of exercise are then followed by slightly longer recovery periods that involve movement at a lesser intensity.


HIIT workouts can be done with a variety of exercises, such as running, biking, or swimming. To perform a HIIT workout, begin pushing hard for a short duration (for example, 20 seconds is a great place to start), followed by a longer, lower-intensity period (perhaps 60 seconds). Throughout the work, you'll continue through this pattern. Most HIIT workouts should be between 30 and 60 minutes in length.


Not only does this approach help burn fat, but it also helps improve your stamina. Furthermore, many people who do not enjoy cardio find that HIIT exercises keep things interesting.


Do Outdoor Activities


Just can't seem to get motivated to hop on the stair master or the treadmill? For some people, outdoor cardiovascular activities are more encouraging than indoor workouts. If weather permits, try getting outside and soaking up some Vitamin D during your cardio workout.


Some outdoor activities to try include running up stairs, jogging around a track, or going on a bike ride. If cardiovascular training alone seems boring, find an outdoor exercise buddy to keep you company. A partner can help keep you accountable and encourage you to maintain a more regular exercise schedule.


Take Group Classes


While some people find cardiovascular training difficult indoors, others may require structure during their exercise. If you have trouble forcing yourself to stick to cardiovascular training, group classes are an excellent choice. The structure and group support of a class can help provide encouragement and structure to your workout.


Group classes that involve cardio come in all different shapes and forms, from cycling to Tabata. Take time to explore new classes to find a cardio activity you enjoy. During a group class, you'll have a professional instructor present to promote good form and keep you motivated. Group classes are also a great option for individuals who are concerned about injuries that may occur on their own.


Make Use of At-Home Equipment


If you prefer to work out in your own home, at-home equipment is a great way to get more regular cardiovascular training. At-home equipment includes treadmills, stair masters, elliptical machines, and other similar machines.


Keeping at-home equipment in your basement, home gym, or garage, can make it easier to fit regular exercise into your routine. Whether it's a long run or several short bursts of cardio throughout your day, the convenience of a cardio machine at home can help encourage you to work out.


Explore These Cardiovascular Ideas to Find Your Favorite


Falling in love with cardiovascular workouts can take some time, and there may be a period of trial and error until you find a type you enjoy. Overall, adding cardio to your regular workout routine can help you achieve your fitness goals while also providing additional health benefits.


Explore more lifestyle and health content to support you on your health and wellness journey at ActiveFit+.

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