By Bailey G.
These last few weeks, I’ve been testing out different forms of cardio and workout classes to find my groove. As someone who has tried everything from running to hiking to pilates, I know that in order to connect to the exercise you’re doing, you have to find the right fit for you. Below you’ll find my suggestions on how to make cardio fun and some different ways to spice up your new year workouts. Enjoy!
1. Spinning into Shape
I’ve tried out three different spin classes in the last few weeks. From Fly Wheel to LifeTime Fitness and Chuze Fitness, all offer a great high-energy workout that I find easier than trying to run on a treadmill. I wanted to give spin class a try because I was falling out of my running routine and I needed something new and fresh to re-engage me working out.
Fly Wheel was by far the most intense, kick-butt class. It included weightlifting as part of the spinning class, and needless to say, this one did me in quite a bit. The Chuze Fitness Spin Class was a lot easier in terms of pacing. LifeTime Fitness was the happy medium, both challenging but not too intense. I ended up joining Chuze because it was the only one within my price range, AND it comes complete with a full gym membership and classes other than just spin such as yoga, Zumba, and more. Anne and I tried out their yoga class the other day, and it was also super fun.
By joining a gym and committing myself to at least two spin classes a week, I’m hoping it will get me back into my groove in terms of a workout routine. Having designated classes and a gym to join can help keep you accountable because you’re paying for it!
2. On Point in the Outdoors
By far, my favorite form of cardio is and will ALWAYS be being in the outdoors. I’m a Colorado girl, born and raised, so I live and breathe anything that remotely resembles mountains. My three favorite forms of outdoor cardio are hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing. Especially in the winter, this can be a fun way to revitalize your workout routine and opt outside.
Hiking is satisfying to me because you end up in beautiful places and your workout is rewarded with those Instagram-worthy pictures. Also, it’s much more about endurance over speed, which I prefer as opposed to running. I always joke that I can easily hike 10 miles, but running 2 is sometimes a challenge. Snowshoeing is similar to hiking in terms of intensity level, and it’s a nice way to get out in the winter.
I’m also a big fan of downhill and cross-country skiing. I’ve been downhill skiing since I was three, and the thrill of zooming down the mountain at high speeds is SO satisfying. Grant it, it’s not the most intense cardio workout you could do, but it’s a nice leisure version of cardio on the weekends, and super fun to do with friends. Backcountry skiing is a much more intense workout and works more of your entire body.
3. Run Away from Your Fitness Fears
Ok, so I couldn’t not include some type of running in this blog, because it’s also a great form of cardio. Like Anne, some of you may love running and get a thrill out of it. Running can be fun and intense, and a great workout to get away from the rest of the world. I was more into running in college when I had more time to devote to it, and I’d like to get back into it in the New Year by running at least one 5k. To make running fun, I try to include a pump-up playlist or exciting Netflix show that I can watch while on the treadmill. When I get the off chance to run outside, picking a fun trail with lots of landmarks helps break up the run as well.
Just remember, even if you’re starting out with walking most of the way, the important thing is that you get up and moving and that you’re improving every day. Try to get at least 30 minutes of activity a day, even if that’s not running.
4. Video Vantage
Last but not least, if you’re a busy young professional on the go, you may not have access or time to go to the gym or make it to the mountains; which is totally understandable. No worries, you can still get in a great cardio workout routine at home!
There are a ton of online fitness instructors and videos on youtube that you can easily plug in and do in your living room or while watching Netflix. My favorite is Blogilates, particularly for ab workouts, but there’s also a ton of great cardio workouts as well to get your blood pumping. These are a great way to quickly knock out a workout when you’re short on time, and it’s also fun to do with friends.
I know getting started can be hard, especially if you’re a working professional or if you’ve never tried cardio before. Remember that the most important thing is to get yourself moving. Walk before you can run, start out small, and take it all in! Hopefully one of these cardio workouts will catch your eye. Feel free to comment below on the one you’re most excited to try. Until next week, Ramble on!