How often are you getting cardio activity in? Better yet, are you engaging and activating as many areas and muscles as you possibly can? While cardio is a necessary component to any workout routine, few know how to make the most of this exercise.
Ladies, don’t fall into a cardio rut! Here are three sure ways to get an efficient, full-body workout in during your cardio sessions:
1. RISE UP: Almost all cardio machines have an incline component. Yes, I’m talking about that scary, upward arrow that stares at you from your treadmill or elliptical. With a few pushes of a button, you can transform your usual routine to a challenging, strengthening workout. Get yourself going with this simple, yet effective routine:
- Set your incline to 7, walk for 3 minutes at 3 mph
- Jog for 2 minutes at 4 mph
- Lower your incline to 4, sprint for 30 seconds at 5.5 mph
- Walk for 3 minutes at 3 mph
Repeat the above four times. You’ll feel it, I promise!
2. BAND TOGETHER: Resistance bands are great for strength training! Break up your cardio session with some quick exercises using your resistance bands. These will get additional muscles engaged, while enabling your heart rate and energy to remain nice and high. Try the following exercises during your cardio breaks:
- Place a resistance band around your calves. Lie flat on an exercise mat with your arms flat on the floor next to you. Slowly raise your legs, shoulder-width apart, and lift them up an down twelve times. Be sure to engage your core and keep your legs shoulder-width apart – this activates the power of the resistance bands.
- Step into your resistance bands and spread your legs far apart, positioning yourself in a wide squat. Bring your right leg over to meet your left leg. Now, move your left leg over and have your right leg meet it once more. Repeat this on your right side. Do this ten times.
3. Weight It Out: Grab some free weights, maximum 2.5 pound each, and go for an after-dinner walk. Challenge yourself and pick up the pace, pumping your arms as you go. Be sure to keep your tummy tight, imagining a taut string pulling you from your belly button up through the top of your head. You’ll work your arms and core, all the while getting in some solid cardio.
With cardio, it’s important to think outside of the box! Be mindful of your form and body – if you don’t feel challenged, it’s time to incorporate something new into your routine!
What’s your favorite way to kick up your cardio routine? Share your experiences in the comments section below!
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