How (And Why) To Diversify Your Cardio

Admit it—you have a favorite cardio machine at the gym. Maybe you love that particular machine so much that you’ve invested in your own at-home version. Whether you’re a treadmill enthusiast, stationary bike lover, or loyal to your elliptical machine, you’re not doing yourself any favors with your faithfulness. Muscle memory is a very real thing, and the worst part is that many people don’t switch up the variety even within their beloved machines.

Some cross ramp devotees point to the potential knee injuries caused by running on a treadmill. Stair machine fans might not want to give up the fantastic glute workout for something less bun-centric. However, we could all use a little refurbishing. If you don’t like a particular machine, that’s probably the one you should be focusing on (unless your doctor has said otherwise).


It’s Not Supposed To Be Easy

Most people favor a certain machine because it’s comfortable (ahem, easy). Every time you try a new workout, it’s going to seem tough, or at least it should. This means that your body is trying to learn something new, which is always a good thing. You’re not going to run an eight-minute mile right away, or maybe even a twelve-minute one. However, you have to start somewhere.

Sticking to the same machine might burn the same calories each time, but your muscles are getting stagnant. Every cardio workout leaves some muscles lagging behind. There comes a point when, if you’re not increasing resistance or changing your routine, your muscles stop improving.


Why Settle For Routine?

Depending on your gym, there may be more than seven cardio machines to check out (enough for a different one every day of the week). Three different types of stair machines, elliptical trainers, two different stationary bike styles, cross ramps, treadmills (for both running and walking at an incline) and the rowing machine all count. Why do the same, boring thing every day at the gym when you can mix it up?

People tend to stop going to the gym when they get bored. It’s not that everyone’s life is so busy that they can’t cram in 30 minutes a day to work out. The issue is that we stop wanting to go. A great way to fix that issue is by looking forward to something different every day.


Create Your Own Circuit Training

Doctors recommend that cardio lasts for at least 30 minutes to benefit. This can seem like a long time on a machine you’re just getting used to. If you’re feeling fickle, a great workout is spending ten minutes on one machine, and then switching. You can do anything for ten minutes, even run at a slow pace.


The next time you head to your gym, try something new. Don’t expect that you’ll enjoy it or be good at it right away. Stepping out of your comfort zone takes guts. However, the end result is well worth it.