Unusual ways of doing cardio
For those of us who need a change in routine, or those of us who don’t know where to start, alternative forms of cardio can be our saving grace.
Working alternative forms of cardio into our exercise routine is as essential as it is entertaining. Avoiding repetitive strain, injury and fitness plateaus are an upside of trying alternative forms of cardio, but some cardio can also introduce a strength element and reignite our love for working out. As the old adage goes, we never regret exercise (but we can end up resenting it).
Alternative forms of cardio are having a moment and this is a band wagon we’re most definitely jumping on. Below we’ve listed our favourite, quickie forms of cardio and ways these alternative workouts can be synthesised with our existing fitness regimes.
Trampolining or rebounding
Trampolining or rebounding (exercising on a mini-trampoline) is invigorating, a good work out and an excellent stress buster. While this one does need equipment, small trampolines are easy to come by - and there are trampoline parks or leisure centres across the country if we’re looking for a bigger bounce.
Rebounding can be done a few times a week to refresh our cardio sessions and to get our groove back. It’s also a wonderful way of doing exercises that can sometimes seem daunting or unattainable, such as push ups, jogging, planks or jumping jacks, and is a pretty effective form of pelvic floor training.
Ever wondered why boxers (or school children) are so fit and never seem to run out of energy? A lot of this can be explained by skipping. Beneficial for balance, high cardio and even good for the brain (those jump rope routines require a fair bit of concentration), skipping is an excellent and engaging form of cardio. The good thing is skipping only requires a one, very light, transportable and cheap piece of equipment and can be introduced into any HIIT, gym or other form of exercise routine to make our workouts more dynamic. It’s also our favourite way to stay fit on holiday.
Step-based worked outs
Incorporating stairs or stepping into our workouts is one way to get fit - and fast. We all know there’s a difference between being fit and stair fit - stair fit is next level! No matter where we are, we can always find steps or stairs which we can climb or, if we’re feeling adventurous, run up. Doing this a few times a week, or for a short amount of time every day, is one way to realise how much fitter we can get and why it’s important not to get stuck in a workout rut. It’s also a form of body-weight, strength training which is important for staying fit and well on the whole.
Yoga has this reputation for being super zen and focused on mindful stretching. This is very much correct, but there is so much more to yoga. Power yoga, and indeed most forms of yoga which are ‘flow’ based, can be exceptionally challenging and not only increase our level of fitness, but also increase general stamina. Power yoga is about strong, sustained poses, repeated frequently, speedily and without rest. Power yoga is a one-stop-shop and even more powerful when combined with strength training such as weight lifting and traditional forms of cardio such as spin, running or swimming.