50 Ways To Get Your Cardio On!

Hey friends! How’s your Tuesday treating you so far?

Things have actually been pretty busy up in here today, so I’m quickly taking a break to chat and share a little something with all of you because I love ya so much.

The other day, I got an email from a reader who was telling me about how much she is totally hating on cardio right now. She said that she tends to go through phases (don’t we all?) and that right now, the thought of her jumping on a treadmill is probably right up with going to get a root canal.

Reading her email, I realized that I could definitely relate. Although I’m not doing a ton on the cardio front right now besides walking, I’ve definitely been at that point where the treadmill turns into the “dreadmill,” and I just can’t be bothered.

But the thing is…cardio doesn’t have to just be on the treadmill. Or running/walking for that matter! I think a lot of people tend to get to a place where they think that their cardio activities either have to be long or high-impact…so not true.

So I compiled a little list of 50 ways you can squeeze in some cardio today!

50 ways to get your cardio on

When it comes to making an activity “cardio,” there are two things to keep in mind:

1st – Intensity

An activity counts as cardio when you elevate your heart rate into an aerobic zone, which is 55% to 85% of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your target heart rate, start by doing 220 – your age.

  • For example, I would do 220 – 28 = 192.
  • 55% of that would be 105 (192 x .55 = 105)
  • 85% of that would be 163 (192 x .85 = 163)

So my target heart rate is between 105-163.

Simply check your pulse or wear a heart rate monitor so you can be sure of which heart rate zone you’re working out in.

2nd – Time

Shoot for a minimum of 10-20 minutes per session, building up to a full hour over time. Also remember that your workouts can be spaced out throughout the day. 10 minutes in the morning, 10 in the afternoon, and 10 in the evening, and you’re good to go!

So now…what are some of your favorite ways to get your cardio on? Winking smile


  1. says

    Very good breakdown of the calculations! I always always get confused and forget those kinds of formulas. 😛 I love to do cardio through several ways too: HIIT bodyweight+weight circuits, stepmaster (start with level 8 and turn sides every 40 seconds and after level 8-9, crank it up to level 20, then back down to 10-11, then 20, and so forth), running outside+treadmill (hehe), and SOMETIMES elliptical.
    Ellie@Fit for the Soul recently posted..Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {Vegan | Low Sugar}

  2. says

    Awesome post! Love all these ideas, and I love mixing it up. Since I’m training for a half marathon, I’m super tired of running and ready to try out some new stuff once the race is over!
    Julie recently posted..20 Time-Saving Tips

  3. says

    I get bored with cardio really easily which I why I really enjoy group exercise classes!! Body Pump, Zumba and Turbo Kick are some of my favorite!! I also enjoy fitting cardio exercise into my everyday life by playing with my kids. We love to take family walks, bike rides, jump on the trampoline and jumping rope!!
    Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom recently posted..This or That

  4. says

    Lately I have been loving running and hip hop class for cardio. Both are fun for me so the time goes so quickly! If I am really unmotivated to do traditional cardio I just hop on my bike and ride around town :)
    Great list!
    Laura recently posted..Getting things done

  5. says

    Spinning and running and then the elliptical comes in after. I love a good hike too. Looking at your list I could go for a little trampoline-ing…! :) Also love circuit training and HIIT. What’s your favourite?
    Michelle@Peachy Palate recently posted..Enlightened

    • Courtney says

      I was *just* reading about Zumba Toning last night in a pamphlet that came in the mail. I’m thinking about trying it out…it’s not super high impact or anything, right? Just basically dancing with a stick? lol

      • Jill says

        Zumba Toning is great! Generally, the Zumba Toning dances/routines aren’t as fast moving as some of the regular dances as you don’t want to be flailing your arms around with weights in them, but it’s a lot of fun & you can certainly feel it the next day! I was reading comments up above & it seems like you want to give Zumba another try. My suggestion for new Zumba’ers is to give it 3 classes before making up your mind. Also – a HUGE factor here… the instructor. They are all SO different! Some are more cardio, some work more on the core, some are better at toning, the list goes on… They also have AquaZumba… Zumba in the pool! I haven’t tried this yet, but would really like to!

  6. says

    Thank you SO much for breaking this down! I think we do go through phases….cardio is such a love/hate kind of thing, but it is my favorite. Right now, I am into running, but I also (don’t laugh) love to push mow the lawn for a good cardio workout. It takes me like two days!!
    Thanks for the list!

    • Courtney says

      Oh my gosh, TOTALLY not laughing! That was the only reason I would ever even offer to push mow the lawn – house chores + an outdoor workout? WIN! :)

  7. says

    Lately it’s been running, but I love taking bootcamp classes (it’s been a while!) and leisurely walks. Sometimes that’s just what my body needs.

    I went surfing when I vacationed in Top Sail Island this summer and it was so much more of a workout than I’d ever expect!

  8. says

    This is a great list, even though I’m not sure what everything is… 😉 I love that you have ‘playing tag’ on it! Vacuuming, mopping, and cleaning make for some good cardio when I can’t get to the gym. I’ve recently been running as well, but it’s no where near what some can do! Circuits are also great!

  9. says

    Your list is fantastic and I try to include a lot of these activities into my week. One of my faves is to get on my ab cruncher during ad breaks when watching TV, the time really mounts up over a week and I am doing something positive during these down times.

  10. says

    Insanity has got to be my favorite cardio – torches a ton of calories in 40 minutes! Great quick alternative to something like running. Insanity gets you awesome definition but you can still usually eat alot and not feel guilty when you’re doing it daily :) hah yup – that’s what I do!
    Alyssa recently posted..Healthy Ice Cream Roundup

  11. says

    Just stumbled across this incredibly inspiring blog. All the comments and participation from everyone is amazing. I love seeing women get together and discuss real health issues.

    A real big thing in our Sacramento Dentist office is TurboKick. We close the office down early and go to the gym together as a team. It is a great way to stay fit, build team moral and take our frustrations out! You should give it a try.
    Kristen recently posted..Do You Really Want to Keep your Teeth? Deep Cleaning Explained.

  12. Emily says

    This is SUCH a great post. I think people often forget that exercise can come in many forms, and it doesn’t have to be one that you feel like you are slaving away at. I also love that you mentioned you can break up your cardio into multiple sessions during the day. I am a nurse and when I teach patients about increasing their exercise, they are always shocked to know they don’t have to do all 30 minutes of exercise at one full time during the day. Thanks for this Courtney!

  13. says

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a good article… but what can
    I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.
    pink trampoline recently posted..pink trampoline

  14. says

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    happen before. Cheers
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