Five tips to improve your cardio workout

If you want to get out of a workout rut, or make things more interesting, one of the best things to do is change up your cardio routine.
Making a change for even a week or two can help jumpstart your fitness regimen.
Even the most fit and dedicated individuals who do the same basic workouts on the treadmill or elliptical machine can get burned out.
Here are five great ways to change up your cardio workouts. Experiment with one or more of these tips and it should give you a nice boost in your workouts.
1. Change your apparatus – If you primarily exercise n a treadmill, try using different piece of equipment more for a week or two such as an elliptical machine or stair-stepper. It will work your muscles in a different way and help you cross train.
2. Intervals – Change up the way you exercise on your usual machine by simply changing how fast and how long you do it for. Interval training is one of the most basic, but best changes you can make.
Research shows that a 20-minute interval training workout can actually be more beneficial than walking or jogging along at a low speed for 30-40 minutes.
Instead of jogging or walking along at basically the same pace, interval training means you run or walk faster for periods of 2-3 minutes or longer, for example, then back down the intensity for 30-60 seconds, then speed up again.
Running too fast or even walking too briskly can cause injury, though, if people aren’t used to it. Proceed with care before you speed up too fast and consult with a doctor before making any major changes in your workout routine.
Other ways to add intervals to your workout are to change the incline and-or resistance of the machine you’re using.
3. Use a rowing machine – Rowing machines have been around for decades, but often sit in the back corner of a gym. However, rowing machines can provide a great cardio challenge, build muscle and provide a fun change from most people’s usual cardio workouts.
4. Swimming – Called the best all-around exercise there is by many people, swimming is also an excellent way to cross train.
5. Take a bike ride – Whether you go for a ride outside, on an exercise bike or take a fast-paced spinning class, it’s an excellent way to get great interval training.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at

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