Cardio - Sweating To The Oldies!

So I have to ask, am I the only person who has a problem with cardio???For the life of me I am not sure why I have such an aversion to it.

Seriously, I can motivate to stretch, weight/strength train, dance etc but if I even think about cardio I start to sweat...and not in the good way.

I've decided the only way to get through my cardio slump is to reprogram my thoughts towards it AND maybe find some cardio that is not your typical cardio. If I don't think of it as cardio - maybe I can fake myself out of hating it. Clearly I'm going to have to sweat outside the box. Seeing as I tend to like new, hip, weird stuff I went out on a hunt, a hunt that took me full circle and made me realize that the "newness" I was looking for was actually in the past. I didn't really hate cardio when I was younger so... retro cardio here I come! Let's take a quick look at some of the ideas I came up with to shake up my cardio routine (and by routine I mean total and complete lack there of).

  • Bike riding. Real bike riding not spinning - we all know spinning is great cardio but it can be hard on your back and knees. This Christmas my husband and I decided to get each other bikes. Can't really get more retro than a bike can you. Mine is a vintage looking turquoise and yellow 3 speed cruiser with a big puffy seat (I'm old my butt needs cush), a removable basket and the loudest bell Mr Blue could find. Pee Wee would be proud. I plan on riding it on the beach all summer long but as I live in SoCal I need to break it out now!  Plus biking offers all of the benefits of an intense cardio workout - sustained elevated heart rate, calorie burn, muscle toning and active physical movement, with minimal impact. Not to mention it can be a relaxing, social activity and I can bring my dog.
  • Roller skating!  And I don't mean rollerblading by the beach - blech. I mean good old fashion roller rink skating. Backwards skate, couples skate, date night, girls night out, Saturday nights alright for skating, 70's & 80's music skating with real skates! We used to love it as a kid and guess what it's still super fun as an adult. Plus you can wear really cool glitter booty shorts and not look totally out-of-place which is always a plus in my book. Not to mention skating recruits so many large muscles in an ongoing rhythmic fashion, the oxygen and energy demands are high.
  • Richard Simmons classes at Slimmons in LA. I kid you not - I know people who LOVE THIS. I have yet to go but I swear every other week someone tells me how fabulous it was, and really how could it not be, its Richard Simmons for Gods sake. Here is the class description from the web site "My class starts out with a rhythmic warm up for the heart, then upper and lower body stretches before we dance to the hottest current songs and the great oldies that put a beat in your soul. Teenagers come to Slimmons, people in their 70’s and 80’s and everyone in between. Everyone in the room tries their best to get their hearts a pumping and burn quite a few calories. After all the cardio we again stretch our upper and lower body. Oh but we are not done yet. We pick up weights and do our toning for our chest, back, our arms and shoulders. Toning is followed by push ups and sit ups. And when you leave Slimmons you feel happier, younger and filled with so much energy you won’t know how to use it all." I am going as soon as I can schedule a class, now I finally have somewhere to wear the "chocolate" wrist/sweat bands my husband bought me.
  • Sweaty Sunday's at LA's The Sweat Shop.  Did you ever want to be a Solid Gold Dancer, come on you know you did. If so you should check out Sweaty Sundays.  Think American Apparel ad with a bit of Jane Fonda and the Solid Gold Dancers all coming together to dance off the previous night’s debauchery to a soundtrack of disco, indie rock, techno, and 1980s new wave hits. Your are taught a choreographed routine and the room is packed. BIG FUN!
  • Sometimes you just don't want to leave the house to do your cardio. On those days there are a bunch of fun retro videos to reach back to. Jazzercise is one. They have classes but also have videos. Their web site describes it as "one fun and powerfully effective 60-minute total body workout. Every Jazzercise group fitness class combines dance-based cardio with strength training and stretching to sculpt, tone and lengthen muscles for maximum fat burn. Choreographed to today's hottest music, Jazzercise is a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. Start dancing yourself fit and change the shape of your body today!" It really is fun and if you sport a leotard and headband it brings you right back to that 80's feel, or better yet go to Amazon and find an actual vintage Jazzercise video for sale.
  • Callenetics - yes the same Callenetics as the 80's but I am looking specifically at CardioCallenetics. Their web site describes it as " an energizing rhythmic workout that integrates ballet and yoga into a fluid and continuous low impact session. Consistent with the principles of The Callanetics Method developed by Callan Pinckney over twenty years ago, CardioCallanetics represents a non-traditional approach to aerobics. By using larger and more controlled ranges of motion your body recruits more muscle fibers causing more calories and fat to be burned." This is a great alternative to some of the other "barre" classes out there.
  • Water & Aqua Aerobics. Lot's of gyms with pools offer it as well as most YMCA's. If you like the water its great. The water makes things seem easier but you still get a great work out. Depending on where you take your classes they may utilize kick boards, weights and floaties. Classes also tend to have older students as it is a very "joint" friendly aerobic activity, it is extremely low to no impact.

Regardless of what your regular workout consists of everyone knows cardio is a necessary component. I still hate cardio but at least I have some new ideas. I'm going to force myself to think out of the box and at least try shake it up from time to time. If any of you have any great, fun, unique cardio routines please let me know!

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