I hate cardio. It's boring, it's tedious, and it feels like it takes forever.
But nothing burns more calories than cardio. Low impact cardio is easy on the joints, and a great way to burn additional calories on your off days from your resistance training program.
But, once again, it's so boring. So what can a human do in such a dilemma?
If you don't like it, you probably won't stick with it. If you like it, then... you'll like it?
Cardio for the sake of cardio is boring in doing so and concept. So why not hack it into a way of making it "fun"?
1) Audio Books and Podcasts
Audible, Podcast Apps, YouTube
Want to see how different Game of Thrones is from the show? Want to find out if Catcher in the Rye was overrated? Want to brag about reading all the way through War and Peace. Want to learn a foreign language so when you visit another country they don't stereotype you as a "stupid American". Well, thanks to modern technology you can now do all of this while losing weight!
Elliptical, biking, walking, even running, you can listen to almost any book with Audible.com. Fiction, Autobiographical stories, tutorials on finance, language lessons, you can now get smart while getting lean.
2) Movie Time
Cardio Cinema, Netflix, HULU
If you've ever visited a big box gym like Golds Gym or 24 Hour they have "Cardio Cinemas" where you can do your cardio in a dark room and watch a movie on the big screen.
Now, it's not all Popcorn and Cotton Candy because they typically show movies like Fool's Gold, Big Momma's House, and Cheaper by the Dozen 2.
And if you like those movies I apologize...for your horrible taste in movies. Now go cry it off while watching Without a Paddle.
Anyway, what's the answer to this problem. Well, if you own a treadmill at home, you can watch whatever you want at home.
Now for the less affluent, if you own this thing called a Smart Phone, you can watch YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and all kinds of TV and Movies or annoying YouTube Personalities.
If you can't afford a smart phone, work on your life choices.
3) Learn How to Protect Yourself
Krav Maga, MMA, Kickboxing, Boxing
Krav Maga, the style of fighting you see in the Bourne movies and many others, is an Israeli fighting style that I've trained in for 3 years and not only have I learned a lot in the process I burned plenty of calories doing it.
You need to prepared if you ever get into a fight on top of a train.
The 3 hour belt tests were some of the toughest conditioning training I've ever gone through.
MMA, boxing, and other fighting styles are not only great ways to defend yourself from being robbed, raped, or murdered, it's also a great way to burn calories, meet friends, and have fun doing it.
Running Group, Racquetball, Intramural Sports, Soccer, Basketball
As I've learned by coaching a lot of group training classes, a lot of people like to suffer with others. It makes it more bearable, plus you get friends in the process which isn't as easy as it was when you were in 5th grade or when you were getting hungover in college.
Plus things like Tennis have the fun of learning a technique and competition in addition to socializing to make it even better..
You'll have done an hour or three of cardio before you even realize it when you're having fun and focused on something other than the actual doing of cardio.
5) Achieve Something
Marathons, Triathlons, Hiking, Climbing
For some people, running a marathon is an accomplishment, for some climbing Mt. Everest is a goal. Whatever it is, you'll have to do a lot of training for it. And it'll make the process of it a lot more fulfilling because there's a definite and exact goal you're working towards.
6) 2 Birds
Walking your Dog, Yardwork
These are lower calorie burning exercises, but you're at least burning calories and getting things that need to be done... done.
Think of anything that needs done around your house, or stare at your fat dog and that should give you a plethora of ideas of what you need to. If that's not motivating enough think of the fact you'll lose weight doing it.
Plus, a lot of these actions give you some alone time you can breathe and meditate during, so it's a triple net effect.
I'm not saying these hacks will completely rid you of all the annoyances that come with cardio. For some, yes, for others, just some.
But if it helps you at all with including cardio in your life, that's definitely an improvement. Plus a lot of the Hacks will help you with other aspects of your life.
Just remember to vary it up, overuse causes injuries. Which may be the topic of my next post.