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What's Your Advice for Doing Cardio When You Hate it?

What's Your Advice for Doing Cardio When You Hate it?

One reader has a problem that I am thinking could use everyone's advice, especially since I know you guys have tons of tricks up your sleeves for getting in a cardio workout. Plus, we could all use a few ideas to add to our routines, so check out her problem below:

Dear FitSugar,
Help! As a nurse, I know the importance of cardio, except I absolutely HATE it! The treadmill bores me, the stair climber and elliptical are evil and I'm not comfortable enough to swim in public. Help me with cardio ideas that a beginner can do and that will be fun.
-I Hate Cardio

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cham08 cham08 10 years
Yes dance routine is excellent! you can take a class, go to club or buy a dvd and practice at home!
erush19 erush19 10 years
Dance! Whether you take a class to learn ballroom, salsa, etc, or go out dancing at a club - it gets your heart pumping, and you have tons of fun!
cdanzer23 cdanzer23 10 years
I work out while reading books that don't take a ton of brainpower and are quick reads. This way, I can partially concentrate on good form, but also have something to distract me from how long it's taking. If I'm in a really good part of the book and my program stops, I've been known to add more time to finish a chapter.
designergirl designergirl 10 years
I loathe cardio. It just bores me, but to get some exercise I make myself take a walk. If nature isn't a big enough motivation for me that day, I walk to a coffee shop a mile away. That way I get a reward in the middle of the walk, and I don't feel like I'm exercising. Sometimes I find it hard to do things without an immediate goal.
lady-T lady-T 10 years
go with a friend..the time passes SOOOO much quicker...i go alone but always have my mp3 plugged in..
melda melda 10 years
try spinning
JessBear JessBear 10 years
I really like swimming, but I, too, hate swimming in public. I started going with a friend that felt just as conspicuous as me. I also scoped out the gym for the least crowded times- when I'm guaranteed to get a lane, and there's a good chance I'm the only one there. Don't underestimate the value of just FUN stuff, either. My b/f and I play pool basketball during the summer, and that leaves me just as exhausted as running for an hour!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
Today it rained.,...sot instead of not doing anything i went to mall...walked, took the stairs, and carried heavy bags! haha
MaggietheCat MaggietheCat 10 years
Take a class. Who says you have to run? OR switch it up--do ten or fifteen minutes on one machine, then switch to another one. OR find a program for the treadmill that requires you to change the incline or speed every 30 seconds. You'll be so distracted that 30 minutes goes by like a heartbeat. Remember that nobody loves repetition. The world's greatest musicians admit they hate practicing. Marathoners need help to keep going. It takes practice to learn to get through it. In no time you won't mind cardio at all!
ley ley 10 years
i hate doing cardio too long so my advice is high intensity interval training, you can do it in less than 20 minutes and the cals burnt is equal to that if you did 40-50 mins of it. Just alternate high intensity to med/low intensity an example would be I'd warm up to a 1 minute fast walk then sprint for as long as I can then fast walk again. Try to get in 10-15 sprints then you're good to go.
kristenglitz kristenglitz 10 years
Dance in front of the mirror! hehe
blackjade blackjade 10 years
I'm usually all for it but sometime I just glare at the treadmill from the entrance to the gym. Here's my strategy: If I hate it after 6 minutes I can stop and try a different cardio activity. If I hate that too, I can stop after 6 minutes and try something different. If, after 6 minutes on activity #3 I still have no love for my cardio routine, I'm off the hook but I've gotten almost 20 min of cardio in despite myself. If I'm feeling anti-gym and anti sweat - I go for a long walk through one of the neighborhoods I'm hoping we can buy a house in someday :)
a-leighg a-leighg 10 years
Sometimes I completely hate cardio too, sometimes it's just uncomfortable having your heart race and sometimes being out of breath. I definitely agree with taking classes, especially ones that have an element of something besides cardio, like a cardio salsa class. I'm also a big fan of kickboxing--you learn a little self-defense, strengthen your muscles, and get your heart working in one. I'm also a big fan of walking EVERYWHERE!
Pinkgirl88 Pinkgirl88 10 years
1- bring a buddy you can gossip on the machine until you get your heart rate up to high to talk. 2-join a gym that has tvs on the machines and at a time when a show you like is on. 3-play tennis, walk 9 holes of golf, walk your dog, visit a batting cage (also good for your abs) box with a punching bag (learn how to punch first... also super good for your abs) 4-commit a half hour a day to watching tv (no really) but every time there is a commercial you have to get up and do burpees (fit has shown how to do them) and jumping jacks until the show is back on... when the show is on do 1 set of squats one of push ups (modified if you can't do regular)lunges bicept curls lateral raises and crunches ( you'll want to do the stregnth training part only 3 times) 5- go for a bike ride or bike on the stationary bike witha magazine. 6- blast the music in your living room and DANCE your butt off!!! 7-do sprints (i knwo you said you are a beginner so just do as many as you can) at least you'll be done sooner. go flat out for 60 seconds then take it down to a comfortable pace for 90 seconds then go flat out again... shoot for doing ten of these but they are hard so if you only get two or three the first time you should still be proud 8- take a karate class 9- as everyone said get an ipod blare some music... or listen to a book on tape thing. Remember as others have siad the reason that you don't like a lot of the machines is because they are still hard as you get more comfortalbe with them you'll enjoy doing them so you might just wnat to grin and bear it for a few weeks. Good luck
pk9000 pk9000 10 years
I also hate most cardio because of the monotonous motions of running, walking, etc. So instead, I take belly dancing lessions like mymaria and do a Zumba class that uses latin dance moves at the gym.
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
Walk your dog. They'll drag you around the neighborhood and love you to pieces for it.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Don't do it! Just kidding. I put new tunes on my Shuffle, upbeat, and then go for a brisk walk to my new songs.
JennaV JennaV 10 years
Buy an Ipod and make a workout playlist full of fast moving tunes!
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
i speed walk around the neighborhood with my ipod. it's fun!
SweetPeasMom SweetPeasMom 10 years
Keep changing it up! I do classes in the morning whenever I can, but the days when I can't make it for the morning class (which is different every day) I make sure my music is up loud, first, and then I just try to keep changing what I'm doing. Yesterday I did 10 minutes on the elliptical, then I moved to a treadmill and did a 3.4 pace (brisk walk) and at every minute, I upped the incline by .5 until i had done 10 minutes. At minute 11 I started adjusting the grade back down by .5 at every minute. By the time I was back to no incline, I had finished 30 minutes of cardio and wasn't bored.
glam-sugar glam-sugar 10 years
Do a variety, one day the treadmill, then rollerblade, take a brisk walk, play a sport like soccer or football where you run a lot and grab an iPod or a friend. Also, maybe pick out an outfit that will be your reward when you reach your fitness goal, nothing motivates me like a new outfit!
mercurystar mercurystar 10 years
Try a spinning class, its challenging and they play good music to pedal to.
EcannDallas EcannDallas 10 years
i LOVE to go to bestbuy and get all sorts of cardio dvd's. i usually have about 4 i rotate so i dont get bored. also, break it up throughout the day. take your dog on a 20 minute walk in the morning. then right after lunch take a 10 minute stroll (it also helps digest!). then at night, another 20 minute walk with the pooch! if you dont have a furry friend, bring a two legged friend!
miss-ellie miss-ellie 10 years
Like a few people said in their posts before mine, everyone kinda hates cardio at first. but find some things you love to do, like walking for example. i used to hate the treadmill, but i've begun to challenge myself with uphill walking at different levels. however i can't do cardio without my ipod, so find some good music you like or that makes you want to dance and put it on there and walk to the beat of it. it actually does help, whether you choose to walk/run indoors or outdoors.
caernarvan caernarvan 10 years
I have to agree that music is a huge motivator. I listen to COMPLETELY different music depending on what I'm doing. Cheery happy music with a beat keeps me moving in pace & makes me happy until the endorphins kick in. Video Killed the Radio star does it for me everytime. Also, try a spinning class. Even when you "take it easy" it kicks your butt & it goes really quickly due to working in short intervals!!
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