By default most cardio machines are designed to get people either plugged into their playlists and rocking out, or watching/listening to TV. While there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with either of those things, in this article we’re going to briefly go over 5 other super-productive options. Let’s get to it!
#1: Read a Magazine
Yes, the physical paper kind. Using eReaders/smartphones/iPads is popular, but how many times do people accidently drop them on the treadmill, elliptical trainer, or stationary/recumbent bike? Nothing happens when you drop a magazine. And, there’s endless magazines to choose from. Anything that feeds your mind without being too thought-intensive so you have to lessen your metabolic output to understand it.
#2: Benefit from Visualization Techniques
How often do you close your eyes while on the stair master or rowing machine? How often do you shut down all the outside sensory information and concentrate only on what your body is doing. Try this:
- Close your eyes and begin to become aware of everything that you body is doing and going through.
- Feel your heart beat, your muscles pulse with energy and your lungs expand.
- Now, visualize yourself experiencing this same activity except with your ideal physique.
- Picture your tone legs/arms, firm buttocks and tight tummy. Stay in this visualization and visit it often for better results!
#3: Get Into a Conversation
They say that once you reach the point you find it hard to talk to someone, you’ve reached a good resistance/intensity level. But, no one said you “can’t” have a conversation. Try it! Along with working your body, work your central nervous system holistically. Force it to concentrate on your conversation and put out enough energy to feel a challenge. You’ll find yourself progressing quicker in the endurance department if you practice this.
#4: Grab a Set of Dumbbells
This is best for treadmills. Trying to do things with dumbbells on a stair master or elliptical trainer can be rather awkward for some until they get advanced levels of body (neuromuscular) control. On the treadmill however, you can hold onto light to moderate weight dumbbells and do all kinds of things.
From upright rows and bicep curls to shoulder presses and just holding them for arm muscle endurance, it’s a great way to add to the intensity of a treadmill workout without having to necessarily go harder or faster.
#5: Integrate Body Weight Exercises
What if you create a little circuit routine with body weight exercises that includes short bursts of intensity on any given cardio machine? So, for example, you could do a minute sprint on the treadmill then hop off real quick and do 25 body squats, 10 burpees with tuck jumps, or maybe just some pushups or planks. It’s a way to burn more calories and make cardio more interesting.
Oh yes, we knew you would love this stuff. So next time you visit the gym on cardio day, grab some dumbbells, maybe a magazine, have a conversation or just shut your eyes and visualize success! Now take a quick sec and subscribe to the Fitness Studio Blog if you haven’t already so we can continue to blow your mind.