I get it... Life is busy! So working your fitness goals into your schedule can get overwhelming. The hustle and bustle of life quickly take over and finding time to work out can take the back burner.
However, you don’t have to give up your fitness just because life gets crazy. No time for cardio? No worries! With a little bit of planning, these simple alternatives are a fantastic way to add cardio to your already packed schedule.
So how do you add cardio to your day without throwing your schedule even more out of balance? There are a few fun alternatives and some great ways you may not have considered.
Are you planning to go out with friends this week? While dinner and a movie can be a standard go-to, there are some incredible activities that could replace them. It might be time to take a fun hike and picnic with friends instead. Activities like bowling, skating, or a ropes course with friends can be a fun way to sneak in cardio while making memories. When picking something to do together, try choosing something with a bit more activity. You will have fun and feel good afterward.
We have many ways to avoid extra cardio woven into our days. Choosing to take the stairs, walk to work, or park further back in the parking lot are simple ways to add a bit of cardio into your day. By switching out a few modern conveniences each day you can help to add cardio back into your routine. This may mean taking a work call while on a walk or walking the soccer fields at a kid’s sports practice instead of sitting and waiting. When you are feeling unmotivated, simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help.
The house and yard have to be taken care of anyway. These aren’t items you will really add to your workout routine. When cleaning the house or doing yard work, keep a consistent pace of work. Take a little more time on deep cleaning a bathroom or sweeping and mopping the floors. Mowing the lawn or pulling weeds are also great ways to get your heart rate up and get you moving. Take advantage of cardio that is already sewn into your weekly routine.
You may not have the time for your full gym workout. However, you may be able to do a shorter circuit that combines strength training and cardio. Strength training and cardio marry well together. This may mean that you do less time on the cardio portion of your workout or that you sandwich your strength training with cardio at the beginning and end. By pairing it with strength training you are increasing the effectiveness of the cardio you do have the time for.
Another sneaky way to add in some cardio is to have a living room dance party. Turn your favorite music up and have some fun dancing around the living room. If you have children, this is a really fun activity to do with them. Not only can you fit in your cardio, but you can also make fun memories and laugh with your children. This is a simple and effective way to add in some cardio to a busy schedule.
If you have kids the temptation can be to sit down and catch your breath for a few minutes when you get them out to a park or in the yard to play. Instead of taking that moment, use this time as an opportunity to add some cardio to your day. Get up and play with the kids on whatever silly or fun game they might be playing. With younger kids, this might mean a game of tag. If you have older kids this could mean a game of basketball or soccer. By getting up to go play you are making memories while adding cardio to your day naturally.
There are some fun workout challenges out there that go with shows. Some might include, “Every time the main characters make a funny joke, do ten squats” or “Every time the villain appears to mess things up, do ten jumping jacks.” These small challenges can help you to add a bit of activity in a fun way to your day. You can also merge TV time with your treadmill time. This is a very simple way to take a sedentary activity and add some cardio to it.
Are you trying to find ways to get out with friends while including cardio? Join a class together. Things like Zumba, karate, and dance classes can get you up and moving in a fun way. Even better, doing this class with a friend will make it more likely that it stays on your busy schedule. The opportunities for classes are endless. Check with local gyms or activity centers for a list of options. Adding in a class like this once a week can make all of the difference in reaching your fitness goals.
While you may not have time for a full cardio workout, you can add it to the beginning of your day or the end to aid in your endurance. This might mean adding in a small morning walk or doing jumping jacks before hopping in the shower. Adding in small amounts of cardio can still help you to reach your goals. Start by setting a goal of ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening. If you are able to add in more time that is fantastic but getting started small can help you to keep cardio in your busy schedule.
Do you normally park close to the building or take a shortcut walking at work? It’s time to go a bit past your normal to add in some cardio. This can mean parking further out in the parking long or taking a longer route into work. By changing simple things in your daily routine, you can easily add in more cardio. Some other options might include going to the opposite end of the mall so you have to walk further to a store or speeding up your daily walk to get more out of it. The goal with adding in cardio is to move a bit past what is normal for your day-to-day.