I’ve had many people ask me over the course of my fitness journey what I do for cardio. I’ve always been a bit hesitant to answer due to the fact I don’t really do a lot of cardio. I have a really fast metabolism and my body type is an ectomorph, long and thin with a difficulty to put on weight and/or muscle. So I do not do a lot of cardio for that reason. Another reason I don’t do some cardio like running for example is because I have extremely bad shin splints. I’ve tried special shoes, stretching, building my endurance up and nothing has fixed them or changed my situation. So I do not run… That doesn’t mean however, I don’t do cardio off and on. I also do not set aside a day completely to cardio. I tack it on to my workouts usually a bit at the beginning and at the end to warm up and cool down. So I thought I’d share a few of my alternative cardio options that work for me, get that sweat up and heart rate up and don’t mess with my shin splints!
1: Stairmaster- The abominable stairmaster…. We have a love hate relationship. Somedays you are just ready to kill those stairs and sometimes I can’t even make it past like five minutes… The stairmasters at my gym have a nice feature that tell me when I have climbed the height of a famous landmark. The Statue of Liberty for example is 14 flights of stairs and The Taj Mahal is about 21. That is one way that gets me through these cardio sessions. I usually set it on quick start and allow myself to play around with speeds and change off from walking front ways and sideways to get an all around burn.
2: Treadmill hill workout- For this cardio session you need a treadmill… that’s it! I start off slow and work my way up through the intervals til I am at the highest the treadmill can go. Then I power walk at that elevation before lowering it for a little and then raising it again. This workout definitely gives me a good burn and I’m power walking so almost running, but still no shin splint misery.
I’m not sure if you’ve caught on to the drift that I like to do cardio sessions that hit those glutes…. my favorite! 🙂
3: Outdoor hill workout- This one is also easy. If your town or city has a section with different smaller to larger hills in it get outside and go climb them! I have three different hill areas in my town that I like to go climb when the weather is nice. Each have about 5-6 smaller hills combined in the walk itself and usually by the end of the summer I try to be able to walk the hills 2-3 times so I’m hitting about 10-15 hills. I love this cardio session the most because it gets me outside as well and there are so many fun things to see so you’re distracted from feeling like you’re currently dying…..
4: Cycling- whether it’s the indoor bike or biking outside this is also a really good cardio session and changes up the muscles being worked. My legs always feel like jello after a good bike session.
These are my main cardio choices that I actually really enjoy too. I enjoy climbing hills and hiking. During the summer I do a lot more hiking outside and don’t do as much cardio inside the gym. I also do a lot more cardio during the summer because I love hiking so much.
What are some of your favorite types of cardio?