This time of year can be frustrating for cardio athletes. Don’t let the weather get in the way of your goals. Get your cardio sessions done indoors.
Maybe you’re training for a Spring marathon, need to get your cycling miles up for Summer riding, or perhaps you just love doing cardio outside. This time of year, with short daylight hours, punishing wind, and icy surfaces, can threaten your cardio plans. Here’s how to stick to your cardio routine come rain, wind and snow.
Assess Your Goals
How much cardio do you actually need to do to meet your goals? If you’re training for a race, you’ll have every session planned out already and will be very clear about weekly mileage, pace and distance. If you are on a weight loss journey, you’ll know how much cardio work you need in order to create a calorie deficit. If outdoor cardio isn’t crucial to your fitness or weight goals, think about why you love it so much. Once you know why you do outdoor cardio, you can find a way to replace it during bad weather.
Indoor Cardio Kit at The Gym
If you have gym access, replacing outdoor cardio is pretty easy. Running gets done on a treadmill, biking gets done on stationary or spinning bikes, uphill walks and hiking can be replaced by fast walking on an incline treadmill. If you use cardio for calorie burn, rather than sport-specific training, consider using conditioning workout classes which use intervals, circuits or HIIT training. They’ll take your calorie deficit to a whole new level.
Indoor Cardio at Home
Cardio at home presents more of a challenge, but it’s not impossible. If you’re serious about your sport, and live somewhere prone to poor weather, you could decide to invest in one piece of home cardio kit. Make it relevant to your sport: a treadmill for runners, a stationary bike (or turbo trainer for your road bike) for cyclists and triathletes.
But if you need to do cardio at home for the calorie burn, the workout world is your oyster! There’s plenty you can do with bodyweight exercises, circuits and intervals. Get your heart rate up, challenge your body, use different planes of movement and focus on intensity. You might actually get a better workout than you would have done outdoors!
Fat Loss and Conditioning Workouts at Home
You don’t need any kit at all do get a cardio session done at home. If you do have kettlebells or a pair of dumbbells, add them to your session for extra resistance. Check out our blog article ‘Exercise Over Christmas with These No-Gym Workouts’, for a simple kettlebell workout, and a cardio circuit using nothing but bodyweight.
Remember The Keys to a Successful Indoor Cardio Session
You won’t have outdoor factors like wind, terrain and hills to challenge you, so you’ll need to challenge yourself. Keep your intensity up and work harder, not longer, for the best cardiovascular fitness results.
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re working out at home. Clear your workout space, tell family you’re training, and then focus on nothing but your workout until it’s done.
Add resistance to your cardio workout to get the best results. That could be incline on the treadmill, resistance on the bike, or weight during your circuit from dumbbells, a kettlebells, or your own bodyweight.
If you’re doing a home fitness circuit, vary the exercises to get the best cardio effect. Pair upper body movements with lower body, add plyometrics (jumping moves and burpees), and don’t forget to add isometric (single leg or single arm movements) work.