Let’s be honest, working out without tunes is a total drag. When you’ve got a kick-ass playlist going in the background it’s easier to stay motivated and keep a good tempo with your cardio workout. These quick tips are designed to help you create a kick-ass playlist and use the music to help keep your cardio workout moving forward.
Create a Playlist or Three
Regardless of what app you use to listen to music, you’ll want a kick-ass playlist to listen to. Select songs that pump you up or vary with their tempo. The point here is to create a motivating mix that has different beats in order to create a change in tempo throughout your workout.
Think of it as the different settings on an elliptical. You can set your playlist to rise and fall with quicker and slower tunes, or set it to random and really mix things up.
Step to the Beat
Instead of trying to match the exact beat of the music, try and focus on putting the same foot down every fourth count (or two if the song is slower). This makes keeping a steady pace easier, which is the point of a steady-state cardio workout.
Vary the Resistance
Keep the tempo steady but vary your resistance to change the intensity of the workout. This can be done in a variety of ways. If you're at an indoor gym, simply use a hill mode or random mode in the workout setting (the point is to vary the resistance and uphill vs. downhill settings). For outdoor workouts, choose a route that has a change in elevation, such as a trail or hilly neighborhood.
Keep Your Workout Fresh
Stay engaged with your fitness routine by mixing things up. You can create multiple playlists with different tempos (paces) or you can vary your routine in other ways. Here are a few things we like to do to switch things up and keep our workout fresh.
Take your cardio workout outdoors. This is a great way to change up things, especially in great weather. Pick a place with varied terrain and try to maintain the same tempo throughout.
Use different machines. If you are indoors, change your cardio machine every now and then. You can use the same methods with an elliptical, rowing machine, Stairmaster or even a stationary bike. Just stick with a downward movement or pulling movement (rowing machine) to keep with the time.
Workout with a friend or join a group cardio class. That way you’ll have an accountability buddy to keep you motivated.
This week’s quick tip helps you keep the beat with your steady state cardio workout so you can kick it into high gear and make the most of your fitness time.