Choose your fighter for cardio day: there are so many options to choose from for your weekly cardio sessions, but here are a few ideas if you’re looking to find something you love.
- Treadmill (not as boring as you may think)
- Cycling (dust that old bike off in the garage!)
- Arc Trainer
- Team Sports (sand volleyball is our favorite during the spring and summer)
Before you dive headfirst into the world of cardio, allow us to be your life vest! Each option does more than just get your heart rate pumping. So let’s get moving.
The Tried and True: The Treadmill
Running on a road to nowhere may seem a little redundant, but the treadmill is one of the most popular cardio machines for a reason. Like most equipment, the nice thing about treadmills is that they’re adjustable so that they can support your needs. This factor makes running on a treadmill easier on your joints than running outside is.
Just FYI, you don’t need to sprint for hours to get great results. Actually, jogging and incline walking are your best options for fat loss. If you choose to use an incline here’s a quick tip: don’t hold the handles! That completely defeats the purpose.
Our Hearts are Racing for the Elliptical
If treadmills are good for your joints, ellipticals are great. If you have joint issues, this machine is for you. Like the treadmill, the elliptical is also going to give you all of the benefits of a regular, ol’ run outside.
One of the other benefits that the elliptical has is that no other machine in the cardio squad can really say it’s an upper body and a lower body workout. This machine is fantastic for getting your cardio skills down. It improves your stamina, teaches you how to balance during cardio, and can be a great way to start getting active after an injury.
Make sure you’re using both your arms and your legs if you’re using the elliptical for the best outcome. Plus, remember Moonshoes? It’s basically the adult version of that.
I’ll Take the Stairs
The main takeaway we’ve discovered is that all cardio machines are human hamster wheels. Thus, the escalator to nowhere. All jokes aside, the Stairmaster has some serious potential to take you one step further to your fitness goals.
If you’ve never used this machine before, it can take a minute to master it. This machine is a great way to get your cardio in while also focusing on endurance. Posture and focus are your besties. However, like most things with fitness, going slow and steady wins the race.
This machine is perfect for anybody, but especially for people who are looking to gain strength in the lower body while getting their heart rate pumping. Remember: no holding the hand rails! You’re just cheating yourself.
Bike, Bike, Baby
The stationary bike peaked in 80s workout videos and has been peddling for the #1 spot in our hearts ever since. Moral of the story is: not everybody likes to run, and while running doesn’t have to be a punishment, cardio doesn’t have to be running.
You can break an intense sweat on this machine, especially if you prefer to do your cardio in intervals, or are looking for an easy intro into cardio. You see the rows of them at the gym, but there are of course great home options to choose from as well: Echelon, Peloton, NordicTrack, Bowflex, Free Beat, and so many more!
The Arc Trainer
The arc trainer is sort of like the close relative of an elliptical machine. These machines are lower intensity than an elliptical but burn calories quicker. With that being said, do not sleep on these machines. It also has more motion than an elliptical, similar to climbing a hill or going hiking. It’s also a good option for people that may need something easier on the joints.
EMOM stands for Every Minute on the Minute. This completely customizable routine is the perfect way to add some full-body cardio moves in without much planning. Not only can you challenge yourself with an EMOM, but you can also get creative with a range of movements focusing on different muscle groups.
Hike it Out
Getting outside and taking in the fresh air is a great way to get your heart rate up without even realizing it! Whether you’re traveling, or in your own backyard, hikes are a fun activity that will get your body moving while exploring a new place.
In addition to the physical benefits of hiking like increased endurance (which can give you an edge during your strength-training workouts!), hiking has tons of mental benefits, like boosting your mood, reducing anxiety and reducing stress.
Put me in, coach!
Chances are your city has some fun rec leagues available that you can join. With sports like kickball, volleyball, and softball, not only are you able to get your cardio in but you’ll meet some new people at the same time.
Teamwork helps to boost confidence, and also helps to give you the accountability to show up and not let your team down. Plus, it gives you a break from adulting. And let’s be real, we can all use that!
If you’re someone who hasn’t found your match made in cardio heaven, we know that with a little creativity, you’ll be a cardio lover in no time!