Cardiovascular exercise is any kind of exercise that increases your heart rate, granting your body with dozens of health benefits. A steady stream of cardio makes your lungs stronger, strengthens your heart, keeps your cholesterol and blood pressure down and just overall makes it more likely for you to live longer and better. Still, sometimes it’s just not appealing.
Luckily, cardio workouts aren’t limited to running, cycling and swimming. While you might still need to add a serious workout session here and there, introducing some brisk walks and vigorous cleanings can help you stay in good health, pushing you towards a more active lifestyle and a stronger heart.
Here are 4 cardio activities you can do that don’t feel like cardio:
Seriously. If you’ve ever spent a Sunday cleaning your house after weeks of no attention, or after having a few glasses of wine and throwing your stuff around, you know that cleaning and organizing is a serious workout, one that’s capable of breaking a sweat and leaving your muscles sore. The more intense the cleaning the better, whether you’re mowing your lawn or vigorously mopping the floor and scrubbing the bathroom. If you have to clean, you might as well get your heart rate up.
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Walks have become important fixtures of pandemic living. While they won’t solve your problems or make you feel miraculously better, they do provide you with some distance and perspective. These walks are great opportunities for introspection and getting your heart rate up. In order for this to work, extend your walks or add some speed into them.
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Moving is great because it includes anything, from playing fetch with your dog, to walking and dancing. While dancing is technically a cardio workout, it’s also very fun and a nice way of loosening up, especially when bored and alone. Next time you’re moving around, try to keep track of your heart rate. By putting some effort into every throw or step, your heart rate will spike and you’ll be punching in some cardio minutes.
Avoiding elevators and cars when possible
If you live in a city where there’s a lot of walking, stick to it. The more you walk or bike, the better, providing your body with ample movement and exercise that can save you some gym sessions in the long run. These walks tend to be relaxed, not feeling like workouts, providing a good option for when you’re not in the mood for a workout session.