Fitness

Easy Cardio At Home – Make Doing Cardio Fun

Hate Running?

If you’re like me, then you probably HATE running! I just can’t wrap my head around how someone chooses to run willingly, or how marathon runners can run for miles on end. After about a half mile in, I get bored and call it quits, even while using music as a distraction! I need alternative method to doing cardiovascular exercises because running around the neighborhood or running around a track simply won’t cut it for me. I’ve finally found a method for me that makes cardio easy and entertaining that you can do in the comforts of your own home!

Cardio(Heart) Vascular(Blood Vessels)

Your cardiovascular system carries oxygen and nutrients to the tissues of the body while also removing carbon dioxide and waste. When this system becomes blocked with plaque, nutrients are unable to get to the heart which can lead to heart disease. There are many types of heart disease, but the most common are Congenital Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Coronary Artery Disease, Cardiomyopathy, and Congestive Heart Failure.

Think of your cardiovascular system as the engine of a car. Everything in your car revolves around your engine. The last thing you want to happen is to see that check engine light come on! With a healthy diet and regular exercise, you minimize the risk of heart disease.

Common Causes Of Heart Disease

  • Poor Diet
  • Inactivity
  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Bad Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Types Of Cardiovascular Activities

When it comes to doing cardio exercises, we primarily focus on doing things such as running, speed walking or jogging. I don’t include walking at a normal pace as a form or cardio because it doesn’t really elevate the heart rate. We walk every day of our lives and still manage to gain weight, so using walking as a form of cardio for weight loss is counterproductive. Any exercise that gets the heart rate up for an extended period of time is considered a cardiovascular exercise. My two favorite cardiovascular exercises are interval training and riding an exercise bike.

Interval Training

Internal training, also called Circuit Training, is the concept of doing multiple exercises back-to-back with little to no rest in-between sets. The goal is to keep the heart rate elevated so that you can burn more calories which results in more weight loss. An example of this would be running in place for 30 seconds, then immediately begin doing jumping jacks for another 30 seconds. Both of those exercise combined would be considered as 1 set. You can add as many exercises as you want to each set for as many sets as you’d like. Sometimes, I do up to 4 different exercises per set. The more exercises you do per set, the more calories and fat you will burn.

This is my favorite way to train. I usually work 2 muscle groups at a time by doing 3-4 different workouts, 10-15 reps each, for 3-4 sets. Interval training is a great way to get a quick workout in if you’re pressed for time. My sessions usually last 30-45 minutes. During that time, my goal is to keep the heart rate elevated so that I can burn as much fat as possible. Here’s as example of what 1 set of interval training looks like for me.

 

Bicep & Shoulder Day

  1. Alternating Dumbbell Curls: 10-15 Reps
  2. Hammer Curls: 10-15 reps or until failure
  3. Standing Shoulder Press:10-15 Reps

Here’s the dumbbell set that I recommend.

All of this is done back-to-back without any rest. After doing 3-4 sets of these exercises, I rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute and do the same thing for 3-4 new exercises that work those same muscle groups. You can alter your interval training in whatever way that works best for you: AS LONG AS YOU KEEP THE HEART RATE GOING.

 

 

 

Xterra Folding Exercise Bike

My 2nd favorite type of cardiovascular exercise is riding my Xterra folding exercise bike. It allows me to keep my heart rate up for extended periods of time just as it would if I were to go running. I usually hop on my bike first thing in the morning while I’m on my intermittent fast. Depending on my schedule for the day, I try to ride anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Burning those extra calories on an empty stomach helps speed up the fat loss process. The key to this though, is not to overcompensate by eating bad foods that are high in calories when your session is over. That will only replace those calories you previously burned resulting in no weigh loss or even weight gain.

Working out first thing in the morning gets that fresh blood circulating in your body which makes you more energetic and upbeat during the day. It also helps release stress that you would otherwise hold inside if you sleep in instead. When you start off your day with a workout, it helps your day go by much smoother.

Make Cardio Fun

Whether I choose my exercise bike or interval training, I always find ways to make it fun and keep it entertaining in the process. The beauty of having your own home gym is that you can multitask while you work out. While doing interval training, I usually have a movie playing or will watch a YouTube fitness video of someone who a physique similar to the one I want. That gives me the extra motivation and push needed to go harder. It also helps you lose track of time because you’re into a movie or TV show and before you know it, you’ve extended your workout, ultimately burning extra calories.

I’ve come to the realization that I just don’t have the mental fortitude to push myself when I run outside. I get bored and distracted way too easily. The whole time I’m thinking about other things that I’d rather be doing. An exercise bike allows me to get a great cardiovascular workout in while also doing the things I love! If you enjoy playing video games, watching TV, or doing various activities on your phone, then riding an exercise bike will be perfect for these tasks. While riding, I also use a bicycle phone mount that allows me to check the news, reply to emails, check my calendar, and browse social media as I get prepared for the day.

A great benefit to riding an exercise bike is that it doesn’t require any real focus so you can multitask while you ride. To increase productivity, I have a rule set for myself where I can’t watch any TV or play video games to start the day unless I do them while riding. This is a great way to consolidate some of your time so that you have more time for doing other fun activities. Being entertained while doing cardio helps keep things fun so that I don’t get bored and stop easily like I do when I run outside. If you hate running, this should be a great alternative to help your burn that extra fat while having fun at the same time.

Is Your Check Engine Light On?

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of deaths among Americans. Approximately 1 out of every 3 deaths is due to Heart Disease. Are you at risk for heart disease?  The key to prevent heart disease is to maintain a healthy diet and incorporate a cardiovascular workout plan. By doing this, you will prevent plaque from building up in the arteries that surrounds the heart.

If you have a hard time pushing yourself while you run, try using an exercise bike as an alternative. They are affordable, doesn’t require much space, easy to store, and have a resistance knob that allows you to increase the intensity of your workout to really get the heart pumping!

Doing an interval training session after you’ve knocked out some calories on your bike will burn some major fat! If you want to see those pounds fall off then this is the way to go! But don’t forget to couple this with a healthy diet! Best of luck on your journey!!!

Please share your thoughts, opinions and personal experiences below

Peace & Blessings!

 

 

35 Comments

  • Padma

    I enjoyed your article Sergio as I exactly am the kind of person who gets easily bored with running or long fitness routines. The exercise bike is one of my favorite cardio routines and it is so easy to do. The Xterra bike is a great find and I see it has raving reviews.

    I also like the idea of watching a movie or a fitness video for motivation during my fitness routines. Well thought-out post, we often miss these simple techniques for making exercise fun. And the more fun it is the longer I am motivated to do my cardio workouts!

  • Eco_Catherine

    I never correlated the idea of watching something or doing something while working out as being motivational, but you are totally right! We live by such busy schedules that I frequently find I don’t have enough hours in the day to work out in the morning, however, I always find time to get up and check my emails. Therefore a phone mount on a cycling machine will be the perfect solution for me. Thank you!

  • Maggie

    Thank you for this detailed and informative post. I’ve only started to do some exercise recently at the comfort of my home. I would like to incorporate some of the tips outlined in this post. A healthy lifestyle is a way to go inorder to maintain our health and to live longer. Thank you for sharing with us this valuable information.

  • Nadine Leddy

    Well I am that person who hates running and gets bored very easily. But I have to say exercise is so important for those with heart disease, here it is in 1 in 5 persons being treated for heart related problems. I have also had heart failure a year ago and still undergoing diagnosis and I’m still fairly young. I had to quit the gym because of high blood pressure, and found that I wasn’t using it anyway because the opening hours did not fit my work schedule (small town not open 24/7 and not on weekends). So interval training would work really well for me definitely something to look into, don’t have to waste time getting to and from a gym or finding a park and you seem to be able to mix up a load of different routines for each body part, so I’m sure you wouldn’t get bored very quickly. I actually do like working out with dumbbells it was my favourite part to going to the gym and your recommended dumbbell set is affordable to get at home. Thanks for all the info and help.

  • Bob

    Circuit training is great in weight training as you can use it to keep your heart rate up and you can build muscle. When I want to build muscle I just go with heavier weights and do fewer reps. If I’m looking to lose weight I go with lighter weight and more reps. I usually do 6 sets with 30 seconds of rest in between each set.
    How much rest in between each set do you suggest?

  • Rebecca Grant

    I’m like you. I never push myself hard enough when I go jogging. I prefer taking classes at the gym, but with a son in half-day kindergarten, I don’t have enough time to make it there right now. I love your circuit training suggestions. I’m going to try out the dumbbell set tomorrow. That way, I’ll be able to fit in a short workout and still complete everything else I need to do before I pick up my son. I don’t want my check engine light to come in as I age 🙂 Great post!

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  • Jesse Lee

    Great post!
    I have been wanting to start working out more at home instead of paying for the gym.
    Working out at home works better for me because then I can add it to my day easier.
    You break down many reasons for why exercising is so important and how you can start exercising at home.
    The interval training is great for keeping you in shape, building strength and never getting bored.
    The folding exercise bike you have here seems to be ideal for working out at home. I am searching for a stationary bike to use at home because I want to keep myself aerobically strong and keep my lower body strong.
    Thanks for this inspiring post and I will be back to this website soon!

  • Kathy

    I try to keep myself fit following a stroke 5 years ago, and walk briskly for 30 minutes every other day. I can run short distances, and like the idea of a home exercise bike. I think it will help build up my strength again:)

  • Geri

    I, too, didn’t care for running much but as I got older I learned to appreciate it a little more. However, I found it difficult to keep on a consistent schedule. I’ve tried running machines but those didn’t work for me as well. Now, I find it easier and much more fun to do a blend of different types of exercises which includes cardio and it works better for my schedule.

  • Jason Kang

    Hi.

    It is a very informative and comprehensive article. I love to exercise. I prefer outdoor exercise such as jogging and long-distance running. I have participated in the half-marathon five times. But, there are times when outdoor exercise is not preferred due to weather conditions, darkness, etc.

    So, I also run on a treadmill in the gym. Working out in the gym gives some motivation because there are a lot of people with the same goal. There are times when working in the gym is not an option. Then, cardio at home will be an excellent option. The tools you have introduced and the exercise with these tools seem to be an excellent option.

    I agree with you on the benefit of cardiovascular exercise. It makes me feel good and healthy. I think rope skipping is also a great exercise. All the body motions need to be synchronized to skip the rope. The body will remember the synchronized movements, and it is highly effective.

    By the way, cardio at home has been hard for me because there is not much motivation – working out by myself has been somewhat boring. Probably, the primary purpose of this article is to make this might-be-boring exercise fun.

    Thank you for the comprehensive article.

  • Justin Leitch

    This is a really great article that was well presented and easy to read. There will be many people here who will benefit from the tips and ideas that have presented so well during this piece. Heart disease is a serious issue and one that so many people ignore, however, by just undertaking some of the exercises you have suggested they can go along way to preventing this. As you said, exercise can be made to be fun so really we have no excuses 🙂

    All the best

  • Carlton McFall

    Wow, great idea on having the bike in your living room and riding in the morning while starting your day at work as far as checking social media and your emails. I have a friend that just came from a doctor visit that identified him as having high cholesterol. He works a lot in his office and does not have much time to exercise in the afternoon, but with this recommendation, I will surely give him, he has no excuses. Great and insightful article, do you have any recommendations on bikes to purchase?

  • Shanta Rahman

    Many thanks to you for sharing such a beautiful article with us .I hope your article will serve as a real inspiration .I spend a lot of busy time scheduling so I have rarely had the chance to research anything .In fact, I do not have enough time to exercise in the morning .So I think the cycling machine will be very suitable and helpful to me . Your article is really an educational article .thanks

  • shariful islam

    I get very upset with the running or the long kidney in the routine.But reading your article has coming my curiosity for fitness.I have been suffering from waist pain for a long time.Now I think your mounting a cycling machine would be a reasonable solution for me.Your post is very important for keeping our body fit and for almost everyone to have fun.

  • salah

    And who among us does not hate running, my friend, all that thinking and preparation before going and all that similar to my daily commitment. I also like cardiovascular exercises. I’m doing crossfit exercises. I enjoyed telling you all these details of a great way of insurance and all sports equipment that helps you to perform it.

  • Jordan

    Thanks for the super informative post! I used to consider walking as a form of Cardiovascular Activity, my steps app became an obsession, constantly checking my steps counter. The reason why I walk is that I have a few extra pounds and to compensate for not having any sort of interest in running! 

    I agree with you, I perceive running as a weird thing to do, and I find your suggestions in the “Make Cardio Fun” section quite interesting, will definitely follow your advice.

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