need a reason to exercise

I recommend to all my clients that they train with weights at least three days a week, whether they are with me or not. I also tell them to incorporate at least two other days of cardio. This really brings a great mix into your workouts, keeping them fresh and getting your body to a healthy, stable level. Every once in a while, after I issue the cardio recommendation, I will get the reply–usually instantly and with great emphasis–”I hate running and I just can’t do it!”  I just smile, because there are a great many ways to get your cardio in,  and I’m going to lay out bunch of them in nice, neat bullet points just for you. You lucky soul!

  • -Run: The classic and very nearly the best. No crazy equipment and despite current beliefs, rain will not melt you.
  • -Elliptical: Many have knee problems, plain and simple. Go for this for a smoother ride or just to mix it up.
  • -Stairs: If you have them in your home, try your best not to be efficient when doing chores so you have to go up and down even more!
  • -Stair machine: The evil equivalent of the above. What a treat.
  • -Swim: Smoother than even the elliptical, this is a wonderful option. Great if you’re dealing with lower-body injuries.
  • -Any leg workout: Want to mix cardio into your workout? Add legs into everything to increase the heart rate.
  • -Run backwards: One of my favorites. Gets the fronts of your legs and your calves. Even better uphill–trust me!
  • -Jumping jacks: Old-school calisthenics, anyone?
  • -Jump rope: My ultimate, most transportable tool.
  • -Play soccer/basketball/tennis: These are awesome! Go chase a ball, have fun and make friends. Honestly this should be number one.  By the way, golf and softball do not count.
  • -Sprints: Pick a mailbox far out in front of you as you jog and get there as fast as you can. If you’re on a treadmill, pump that sucker up for 30 seconds. Mix these in and really make a run count. Plus it makes the time fly by!
  • -Mountain climbers: Again, a classic workout move. Mix these in to keep you breathing hard.
  • -Plank jacks: Kind of like jumping jacks but you’re in the plank position and your arms don’t move. Still don’t understand? Here’s a vid
  • -Hills: Start messing with the incline on the treadmill and pretend you’re hiking up a mountain or just heading to school… that’s uphill both ways.
  • -Mow the yard: Add some resistance by bagging it and keep your pace up.
  • -Snow-shoeing: There’s snow somewhere, I know it.
  • -Surfing: This is so much fun–I absolutely loved it! Barbados, I’m in love with you.
  • -Boxing: This just happens to be my biggest stress reliever.
  • -Insert your favorite here!
  • Excuses are easy to come up with, but nobody has great stories centered around staying in. Go out and make your own!