Re-charge workouts by changing up cardio routine

If we keep doing the same things over and over again, life can become pretty dull. The same holds true for our exercise routines in the gym, especially when it comes to cardio workouts.
Months or even years of doing the same things, such as performing treadmill or elliptical machine workouts the same way, can cause a person to plateau.
Here are five great ways to change up your cardio workouts. Try some of these tips and you should notice a burst of energy and ultimately get into even better shape. Turns out variety is the spice of life, even when it comes to exercising.
1. Intervals – You can change up any exercise by simply changing the way you do it. 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.
2. Change equipment – Every so often I like to switch the style of treadmill or elliptical machine I use. If you are a member of a gym, this is easy to do by simply climbing up onto a different machine.
If you have your own workout room and want to spruce up your workouts, you might want to stop into a specialty fitness store and check out what new treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, etc. there are to choose from.
Perhaps you’ll decide to trade in your old model for a new one.
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. Stair climber – Hop on a stair climber and get a highly challenging cardio workout that will push you in different ways than your usual 20-30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical.
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