One of the most important parts of meeting a fitness goal in the new year is planning how to achieve it. For those with weight loss or general fitness goals in mind, deciding what activities will get you to your goal can be difficult. Here are some tips on choosing the right activity to help you reach your cardio fitness goals!
Eye on the Prize
While New Year’s resolutions are aimed at the goal being achieved over the course of one year, remember that you don’t have to reach it by a certain date. This is especially important for number-oriented goals. Goals that focus on ensuring that you stick with the actions that will lead to the desired result are generally easier to keep up with than goals that only specify the end goal.
Do Your Homework
Before choosing an activity, you should make sure to do you homework in regards to what actions will best lead you to fulfilling your resolution. This could include a variety of things, such as picking a workout plan, or supporting exercises to add onto an existing exercise routine. Also consider looking into ways to increase your general physical activity through activities like extra hobbies or sports. Finally, for fitness goals, make sure that you factor health eating into the plans for reaching your goal.
Cardio Related Goals
For those who set goals related to cardio, select a workout plan related to your specific goal. A great activity for improving your cardio health is running. If your goal is to run a five, six, seven, or ten minute mile, then you will want to plan workouts that increase your endurance. A helpful endurance activity is to do sprints. Sprints have the most benefit, not only for increasing short distance run times, but also for increasing long distance run times. Weighted sprints are a great way to supplement this workout, though normal sprints are also helpful.
Some helpful distance running workouts include meter dashes. For this exercise, start with the longer distances and slowly decrease the distance until you reach the shorter ones.
- 200-300 meter run (x 1 or 2)
- 100-200 meter run (x 2 or 3)
- 50-100 meter run (x 3-5)
The great thing about distance running is that there are a lot of workouts and a huge variety of cardio exercises. There are also many cross country workout plans if you prefer running longer distances. However, if you want to improve your cardio health but hate running, there are additional options for you.
Cardio Without Running
If you dislike running, then forcing yourself to do it all year for your resolution will make meeting your goal that much harder. Cardio is cardio, and while different activities will work out slightly different muscles, if you push yourself then at the end of the day you will still be making your heart stronger. Instead of doing something you don’t like, consider alternatives. Swimming is a great option to consider in place of running. Doing laps in a pool can be an excellent cardio exercise.
Stretching and Warm-Ups
Another option for meeting cardio fitness goals is to add a stretching routine into your activities. Stretching before any workout has proven to decrease injuries because it is a warm-up that makes your muscles more limber and more resistant to tearing during exercise. For cardio, some recommended stretching routines include yoga, or fitness yoga, though other routines will work as well, as long as they help you stretch.
Enjoy Your Workout
Whatever workout activity you choose, the important thing is that you stick with it. You are far more likely to continue doing something that you enjoy, so pick an activity that you don’t mind sticking with throughout the year. If you hate running but love biking, then bike. If you hate working out but love the competitive nature of sports, then consider joining a sports club and attending several times a week.
If you would like more information about meeting your fitness goals this year, visit STR8 Training, located in San Marcos, TX.