Are you stuck in the rut of thinking your cardio training needs to be on the treadmill or on the stationary bike and dread going to the gym day in, day out to do this mind numbing task? Whilst these ARE forms of training the cardiovascular system AND with the KX Pilates 6 Week Challenge currently underway; I thought it was time to put a list together of 10 FUN thinking-outside-of-the-gym ways to get a spoon full of cardio.

Blog_TrainerTipsFirst of all, lets just define what cardiovascular training is and why it is so important for the body. Cardio exercise is as a repetitive movement of the body to improve aerobic capacity. Benefits of doing cardio training are HUGE and most certainly make it worth your while. Some of the many benefits include; improved circulation, improved hormonal profile (ever felt the ‘feel good’ hormone following a good training session??) weight loss or weight management, improvements in stamina and performance, management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, improved heart and lung health, better quality sleep, improved brain function and focus and increased bone density.

So now that we know WHY we need to do it, lets see HOW we can have fun doing it. Here are my top 10.

  1. Incline training and running up steps. Think 1000 Steps in Mount Dandenong VIC or a few rounds of The Coogee Stairs in NSW. These are a must do for the cardio bucket list.
  2. KX Cycle– the new KX Kid on the block. Lucky if you’re in Melbourne. “Fusing elements of traditional cycling classes with upper body and endurance training for a high intensity workout”. This is a seriously fun way to workout. The music will have you saying, ”oh I love this song” as the little legs spin away and before you know it the cool down has begun. It’s a must try. Check out- http://kxcycle.com.au for more info.
  3. Its footy season so why not grab your friends and have a kick around at the park.
  4. HIIT training is the new black. HIIT= High Intensity Interval Training. Find a local park and make the most of the equipment that is there. Make a little high intensity circuit by doing 1 minute cardio intervals between step ups on the park bench, running between the lines on the basketball court, switch jumps onto the edge of the sandpit, climbing up and down the climbing frame – or whatever your imagination can think of!
  5. Hiking– Grab a good sturdy pair of shoes, some water, snacks and a pal and head on out for a gorgeous challenging day of hiking. You wont even feel like you are exercising it is that gorgeous out there. Werribee Gorge is not too far from Melbourne and the Blue Mountains has endless opportunities.
  6. Rollerblading down by the beach or along the esplanade (finish with a latte do I hear you say?) Don’t have rollerblades? There are plenty of places that do rentals for a few hours.
  7. Interval run training. Mix up your speeds to keep it interesting, pop some good tunes on and admire the best of our cities in the Autumn.
  8. Go trampolining. Get a group of friends together, head down to an indoor trampoline park (such as Bounce or Sky Zone) and find your inner 5 year old for an hour and you will be feeling this the next day! This is a form of plyometric training, however as the trampoline absorbs some of the shock it is a lower impact version than some other plyometric moves.
  9. Surfing – get yourself a good wetsuit and enjoy paddling through the salty fresh water and catch yourself a good wave. Even if you can’t stand up on a wave you’ll get all the benefits just trying to catch the waves.
  10. Row down a river – or any river you can find really. Rowing is incredible not only for the aerobic system but it also gets the musculoskeletal system fired up throughout the whole body.

So now you have no excuses not to get out there and get your Cardio on!