How to Have Fun Doing Cardio

We all have that friend that just will not seem to shut up about how “great” running is. “Oh, it’s just so rewarding,” “the sense of accomplishment is sooo worth it,” “I decided to run 15 miles today, just for fun, blah blah”.

It can definitely get annoying after a while, but there is something to that enjoyment that I think we are all just a little jealous of. I found myself starting to wonder, “how can I get that fulfillment out of this grueling cardio?” So I made a few minor changes to my run that really changed my whole attitude towards lacing up the sneakers.

1: Change the Time You Run

If you normally run in the mornings, try a run under the moon or during the sunset. And if you find yourself always dreading your nightly run, change things up by *gasp* waking up early and starting your day with a sunrise exercise. A change in the time of day you run will get you out of that boring routine a lot of us find ourselves in. As well, by changing from day to night, or night to day, the entire scenery of the exact same route you would normally take is now brand new!

2: Change The Terrain

Lace those shoes up and get off of the side-walk. A change in scenery is a change in your whole cardio workout. Find a trail with a view and leave the thoughts of “keeping pace” at home. The new terrain will give you a natural interval run, forcing you to slow down at certain places, like rocky areas, downhills, and uphills, as well as being able to speed through the flatter areas.

3: Take Breaks In Your Run

Whether you want to call them breaks or intervals or anything else, changing up the pace of your run has many benefits. Physically, it allows you to go farther and run for longer periods of time without wearing yourself out on a constant sprint. Mentally, intervals give you miniature goals. Keep the mindset of “I have to make it to the next stop sign or fire hydrant.” Find what works for you, start with about 1 minute running, 1 minute jogging or walking and slowly start running longer and walking less. You’ll be shocked at the results of keeping this routine.

4: Sign Up For A Race

Simply signing up for something like a 5k can give you the motivation to start training. First of all, no one wants to embarrass themselves during a race. And second, a race gives you a goal, a place to reach in a certain amount of time. Not to mention, once that race day comes, crossing that physical finish line will give you such a rush of accomplishment, and all of that training will have been worth it.

5:Don’t Run Alone

Working out with a buddy has been proven to improve workout performance. Try finding someone with the same goals in mind and keep a solid pace. If you seem to be a little faster, use this day to enjoy your run. If your partner is a little more speedy, use this day to push yourself.

6: Fluffy Friends Work Too

Can’t find anyone to run with? Maybe your friends hate running even more than you do. Get a dog! Now, I’m not saying to just go out and get a dog for the sole purpose of working out, but if that’s what it takes then go for it. You’ll find your furry buddy begging for you to run.

7: Disguise Your Run

Find an activity that involves running, without the boring, tediousness that comes with putting one foot in front of the other for an hour. Sports are a great way to do this. Find a gym to play some basketball, sign up for an adult sports league with some friends, go to a park and play some ultimate frisbee. Whatever it is you enjoy, find a way to incorporate cardio and make exercising fun!

8: Find Your Motivation

This seems simple, but if you still aren’t feeling up to the daily run, then maybe it is time to rethink why you’re running. For me, my motivation is the future, who I want to become compared to who I am now. If I skip today’s run, will I be getting closer to that future me, or further. Will I feel better about myself after running or worse? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself while you contemplate whether or not to step out those doors.

Running shouldn’t be this dreaded activity that we use to punish ourselves after eating a slice of cake. It should be a part of the day we look forward to. A time to breathe in some fresh air, enjoy the scenery, and take one step closer to reaching your future self.