One subscriber to my email list shared that her greatest struggle this time of year is finding ways to incorporate indoor cardio sessions. During warmer less icy months she enjoys running and biking but struggles to get those cardio sessions in once winter arrives.
I couldn't agree more. In the summer my walks are longer and I frequently head to the mountains for hikes/backpacking trips. Although I plan on more winter hikes this year, some days are like today, rainy, cold and gross. The texture of the snow right now can best be described as Styrofoam (yuck). I also despise traditional cardio. I look in awe at folks sitting on the recumbent bike reading a book or swishing away on the elliptical for 45 minutes. If they enjoy it, more power to them! but it is not for me.
Here are a few non-traditional work out ideas to get your heart rate up without boring you to death.
Rocky did it so you should do it to! Jumping rope will increase your cardiovascular fitness, coordination, and even cognitive function. It can decrease risk of knee/ankle injuries and per hour burns more calories then running. The only issue with that last one is that you probably won't jump rope for an hour, especially in the beginning. If you haven't jumped rope since 3rd grade, have some patience with yourself, it'll take some practice to get back to it. Try jump rope intervals such as 10 sets of 30 secs on 30 secs off to start and up it to 60 secs as you get more proficient. You can also incorporate jumping rope in to a circuit to increase your heart rate. Perform 3-4 strength exercise and then 45 secs of jump rope.
A vigorous KB workout is no joke! In particular the kettle bell swing will get your heart pumping WHILE helping you build a stronger more defined backside. I'm in! You can use the swing for intervals which I really enjoy doing as a finisher after a strength workout. Try 10 sets of 20 swings with 30 secs of rest. If you have access to a variety of KB's try this ladder. I first saw it on @ironbodyartemis's Instagram and had to give it a try. These are the weights I used (for 3 rounds) but this can vary depending on your own strength/familiarity:
10 reps w/ 75lb
15 reps w/ 52lb
20 reps w/ 40lb
25 reps w/ 35lb
The Treadmill Workout I Don't Hate
Jogging on the treadmill or even worse the dreaded Eliptical do NOT appeal to me personally. if you'd rather chew on tinfoil than jog for 30 + mins on the treadmill you might enjoy this workout. It's based on the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) scale or if you wear a heart rate monitor than you can use percentage of your max HR. I've attached a spreadsheet you can put right on the treadmill console to follow along. Basically every 1-2 mins you'll be adjusting the incline or speed of the treadmill to adjust your effort level. It breaks a 25 min treadmill workout in to small increments making it go by so much faster and it feels ALMOST game like.
Spring will be here soon, but why wait until you can get outside to get your heart and lungs prepared for all those fun summertime activities! Give these workouts a try and let me know how it goes!
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