How to Make Cardio Suck Less

picture of runners

Let’s face it: cardio sucks. It’s hard work. You get all sweaty. Your muscles burn and your heart has to pump harder than it wants to. As hard and boring as it is, cardio’s necessary to keep you in shape. It’s good for your heart, and it keeps you healthy.

I do tons of cardio every week, and it’s not because I enjoy it. To be honest, I hate it sometimes, and I find it super boring most of the time. But after months and years of trying different types of cardio workouts, I’ve finally found some ways to make it fun! Ok, not really fun, but I’ve found ways to make it suck less. So next time you’re looking for a way to enjoy cardio, try some of these:

Think of fun things while running/jogging. Keep your mind busy by imagining you’re running toward your celebrity crush (or that cute guy you occasionally stalk on Facebook). Pretend you’re a survivor of a zombie apocalypse and you have to constantly outrun zombies, jump over dead people, and dodge obstacles and debris. Act like you’re running a marathon and you only have one mile to go, so all you have to do is give it your all for a few more minutes. Most importantly, use your imagination!

Create a new running playlist. Give your current playlist a break, and put together a mix of fast-paced, motivational tunes to keep you happy and excited to go for a run. Right now, my favorite songs on my playlist are “The Other Side” by Jason Derulo, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, and “Come and Get It” by Selena Gomez.

Run to the music. Try walking during the verses of a song and jogging during the chorus. For more of a challenge, try lightly jogging during the verses and jogging hard during the choruses. Or, if you want to really push yourself, jog during the verses and sprint during the chorus. This works almost like interval training if you do it right.

Take a fitness class with friends. I love Zumba! It’s so much fun, and it feels like you’re just dancing with friends. After an hour, though, I know I got a good workout based on how much I’m sweating. Some other fun classes are kickboxing and spinning.

Mix up your elliptical workouts. I like to watch tv while running on the elliptical to keep my mind busy. To make sure I push myself hard enough, I go as fast as I can during the commercial breaks, and go at a sustainable pace when the show is back on. You can also try bumping up the resistance and incline every few minutes to pretend you’re going up a hill; it’ll really get your blood pumping!

Find fun workout videos online. There are millions and billions of free workout videos online for your viewing pleasure. Try using YouTube or Hulu to search for fun cardio. My favorite fun cardio videos are from Fitness Blender and HASfit. Check them out below!

Fitness Blender: Red Light Green Light Cardio Workout

Fitness Blender: When I Say Jump Cardio Routine

HASfit: Hot Feet Fat Burning Cardio Workout

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