As you become older, your maximum heart rate will start to decline, which means that your heart and lungs may start to pump less blood and oxygen to your muscles when engaging in physical activity. Although older age is often associated with less mobility and more inactivity, you can prevent yourself from experiencing degeneration by staying active on a regular basis.

Cardio workouts are an ideal form of exercise that will boost your heart rate and increase the blood circulation throughout your body. Examples of cardio exercises are walking, running, hiking, cycling, and swimming.If you’re having a hard time getting into cardio exercise, or you find that all of a sudden your cardio workouts have grown monotonous and boring, check out these 7 ways to boost your enjoyment of cardio workouts, while becoming healthier and fitter in the process.

1. Create a music workout playlist

If the sounds of nature or noises at the gym are turning you off from exercise, make a playlist of upbeat tunes to keep you entertained and motivated during your workout. Studies have even shown that adding fast-paced and upbeat music to your workout can enhance your performance.

2. Do exercises you enjoy

If going to the gym isn’t fun or exciting enough for you, find alternate ways to be active. Join a dance class, begin gardening, or do chores around the house. You can also try playing sports or doing activities you’ve never tried before, such as hiking or rowing.

3. Add variety to your workout routine

Walking or running on the treadmill can become quite boring over time for most gym-goers. If you’re a runner, switch up your routine by running in your neighborhood, or by visiting nearby paths or parks for a change of scenery. If you enjoy a number of different cardio workouts, do running one day, hiking the next, followed by swimming, and so on.

4. Challenge yourself

Everyone likes a challenge, right? If you’re bored of your cardio workout because it’s no longer a challenge, change your intensity level to challenge yourself more. For example, if you’re using an elliptical machine, increase the intensity level or your speed to push yourself a little harder and burn off extra weight.

5. Exercise with a partner

Workouts can easily be made more fun if you work out with a friend or partner. Not only can you joke around, talk, and catch up on the latest news, but a workout partner can actually help motivate you, and vice versa.

6. Play exercise games

Thanks to technology, video game systems such as the Nintendo Wii can turn exercise into a fun, challenging experience. Look into buying a video game system and exercise games, or join a fun exercise class like Zumba to make exercise feel more like a game.

7. Reward yourself often

Cardio exercise can become more fun and enjoyable if you set goals, then reward yourself for hitting those goals. Goals don’t always have to be weight-oriented. For example, set a goal that requires you to exercise 5 days per week without eating any sweets, then reward yourself with either a new clothing item or small piece of dessert.

Rock Creek Wellness offers our advanced cardio screening to assess your risk factors for heart disease and help you improve your cardiovascular health. Contact us now at 913-727-7700 to request an appointment!