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Healthy eating and exercise for life

Stuck in an Exercise Rut?
Try a New Activity and Spice Up Your Cardio Workouts!

In order to work towards and maintain good health, we should participate in some type of cardiovascular activity. Cardiovascular exercise is very important to improving health and also losing weight, so it should be a part of your weekly exercise routine. It not only works and strengthens your cardiovascular system (heart, lungs, circulation, etc.), but is also an efficient way to burn calories. But no matter how good cardio may be for you, if you are stuck in a rut of exercise-induced boredom, you won’t want to exercise.

Let’s face it – we don’t like doing activities that bore us. We would much rather be doing something that interests us and holds our attention. Some people love reading a good book, while others are bored by the mere thought of cracking the first page! And if we will be participating in an activity during our precious free time, we certainly don’t want to spend it doing something we don’t find enjoyable.

The same can be said for exercise. Consider this -- when we enjoy an activity, we are much more likely to be motivated to partake in that activity. If you enjoy your workout, it won’t seem like such a chore. Just because your best friend can run for hours on end, doesn’t mean it’s the exercise for you. If you don’t like riding the bike, why force yourself to do it? Bored of walking every day? Motivate yourself with a different activity.

If you’re in an exercise rut, it’s time to mix things up. Throw a new or different activity into the mix every other day or a couple days a week. The following is a list of cardio activities you can add to get yourself out of that rut!

The Great Outdoors

Breathe in the fresh air and relish the constantly changing scenery. It’s hard to get bored when there’s always somewhere new to look. Pump up your pulse and enjoy the great outdoors!

  • Running/Jogging
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Road Cycling
  • Inline Skating

Gym god/goddess

If you feel like flying solo, hit the machines at your gym for a great cardio workout. There are many to try, and if you ever feel uncertain about how to use a certain machine, ask the gym personnel – after all, that’s what they’re there for! In order to keep things fresh, try using multiple machines per workout. For a 45-minute set, try using 3 different machines for 15 minutes each.

  • Elliptical machine
  • Rowing machine
  • Running/Jogging on the treadmill
  • Walking on the treadmill
  • Bike
  • Stair Climber

Move to the head the class when having company suits your workout style. Many gyms offer varied types of classes that you can get involved with to get your heart rate going. Many of these “class” workouts are also offered on video, so if heading to a gym is not an option for you, check out a video for use in your own home instead. Consider trying one of the following:

  • Kickboxing
  • Step aerobics
  • Spinning (Cycling)
  • Aerobic dance

The Age of Aquarius

Does being by the water fulfill your nights and drive your days? If water sports are a motivating factor for you, give one of these cardio-intense workouts a try:

  • Water aerobics
  • Swimming
  • Rowing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water polo

Get Your Game Face On

Perhaps solo workouts just aren’t your thing, and competition satisfies your soul. If so, give the following team workouts a try. You’ll have your heart pumping in no time!

  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Have Some Fun

If you’re looking for a little added fun, kick up your heels and your heart rate at the same time with these activities:

  • Dancing
  • Roller Skating
  • Ice Skating (indoor or outdoor rink)

The recommendations on exercise, fitness and physical activity outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Health and Human Services suggest that you engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual activity, at work or home on most days of the week (the activities can be broken up into shorter bouts of time). And be sure to check out the Get Moving Calculator to figure out how many calories your activity burns after your workout