It's no secret that I incorporate lots of cardio into my training. Anyone that has seen me at the gym knows it's one of my favorite tools to keep myself shredded, and as much as I do favor weight training over cardio, I strongly believe in doing both cardio and weights for an effective workout. However, I often hear many people complain about how boring cardio is and how they can't stand to do it for more than 3-5 minutes. Well, here are a few steps that I took that helped make cardio work best for me.
Yup, one of my favorite methods to stay motivated while lifting is also top on the list when it comes to doing my cardio. Whether I'm running on the treadmill or outdoors (running is generally my preferred form of cardio), I'll always have my wireless walk-man on, blasting some fast and furious music for me to move to the beat. I've often mentioned that my wireless walk-man is possibly the best fat burner money can buy.
2. Learn to do with the most efficient form possible
While running is my preferred form of cardio these days (I run about 4-5 km almost daily), I have in the past switched around various forms of cardio such as biking or rowing. The main reason being when I first started running, I made many running mistakes which led to joint pain and limited my lower body mobility. It wasn't until I started reading up and researching on common running mistakes and proper running form that my running technique improved, I found my cardio to be more efficient and I started to fully reap its benefits. So, whatever your chosen form of cardio may be, try to do some research on it first as to how u can fully utilize it.
3. Don't see it as a chore, see it as a tool
Okay, this is something I've wanted to get off my chest for quite a while now. Constantly complaining about how much you hate cardio and how bad your stamina is (having poor stamina is not something to be proud of) is just going to make it more dreadful and quite frankly is a poor mindset to have. Yes, weight training probably has more benefits than just cardio alone and is less boring, but I can personally say that ever since I included cardio into my training, my overall well being as well as my weight training itself has seen improvement. I've learned to control my breathing, improve my mobility, afford to be more lenient with my diet, and generally reduce my overall stress, to name a few benefits.
4. Be consistent with it
Just like any form of training, building up speed and stamina takes time and repetition. The longer you neglect it, the harder it gets. However, small steps and improvements made constantly over time will slowly but surely build momentum. Don't be too caught up in chasing the results or how far you are from them, just do your due diligence. Keep your head down and work hard, don't be afraid to do more. The results will come unexpectedly.
5. And MOST importantly, don't go overboard with it
Finally, and possibly the most important point of them all, is not to allow yourself be to burnt out by doing too much cardio all at once. Again, patience is key, I've seen many individuals go from a total sedentary lifestyle to spending hours on the treadmill for first few days, only to get burnt out and give up altogether. It's important to pace yourself, at times even take a break from it if necessary. Remember, cardio is a tool, your entire fitness and training program should not revolve solely around it. It doesn't matter if you goal is fat loss or just building up stamina, there are many benefits to including cardio into your training regime so give it a try!