New Year, New You: {Cardio}


The very word ignites dread in the hearts of many an exerciser. (And by "many an exerciser", I mean ME.) For as long as I can remember, I've dreaded doing cardio. Weights and toning exercises are no problem, but when it comes to cardio, I start finding excuses to skip working out.

It's not that cardio is that much harder than weights, I just tend to get extremely bored. I joined a gym in 2010 where the only options for cardio, it seemed, were the treadmill and the elliptical. But then I learned that my gym offered a TON of fun, challenging cardio classes that were anything but boring. I also found lots of fun alternatives to pounding away on the 'mill for 2 hours.

I like to do my cardio in heels, wearing a ballroom skirt at random truck stops, like this Vogue model.

Below, I'll tell you guys about a few fun classes I've discovered, as well as some upbeat, non-boring cardio plans for the non-gym goers:

If You Have a Gym Membership, any of the following are GREAT:

Zumba: SO fun and upbeat! Zumba is a dance-based, usually hour long class that incorporates Latin dance moves and heart-pounding cardio. You'll sweat and get your groove on at the same time : )

Step: Step classes aren't what they used to be, girls. Most people think of the 80's when they think of Step classes, but the classes now are much faster and more fun. If you've never tried it before, make sure that you start with a Beginner Level class; I made the mistake of jumping head first into a Master Level Step Class once and greatly regretted it.

Spin: Spinning has been popular for a while now and for good reason - it works! This indoor cycling class incorporates speed, interval training and endurance for a killer cardio session.

If You're an At-Home Exerciser, try alternating these plans:

Family Circle Interval Walking/Jogging Plan: I used this plan when I first started trying to get in shape last year. You can walk (if you're a beginnner) or jog (if you've been at it for a while). It's a lot like the Couch to 5k program that's so popular.

Cardio Workout from FitSugar: This plan incorporates LOTS of fast movements, including jump squats, in-place marching and jumping rope. I lurve this one, especially for the bonus toning moves interspersed throughout the cardio.

Health.com's 30 Minute Cardio Workout: This plan is terrific if you've only got half an hour and want to work out. I love the jumping jack and side lunge segments. Lots of bonus toning moves, too!


If you're looking to LOSE weight- Try going for 40-50 minutes of cardio, 4-5 days per week.

If you're looking to MAINTAIN your current weight, (like me)- You'll need about 30-35 minutes of cardio, 3-4 days per week.

Alright girlies, that's what I've got! Remember to enjoy all that yummy food this weekend, but in moderation. There's no harm in indulging in a holiday treat, it'll keep you from going 'diet crazy'.

Be blessed, lovelies-


  1. This is a WONDERFUL post - especially in light of the many new years resolutions that will be made for 2012.

    I also wanted to add - All ladies should look into PURE BARRE! I promise that I am not giving myself a plug here (though I am working on my instructor certification right now) - but this workout is mind, body and LIFE changing!! Check out the site to see if there is a studio near you!! www.purebarre.com

  2. This is a great post! I'm the opposite though! LOL! I love cardio but, hate the weights! Classes at the gym are SO worth it & really make your work out fun!


  3. great tips! I really love the jillian michaels thirty day shred! I really am a fan of the elliptical and treadmill though!

  4. Several years ago I do step 5 days a week for 6 weeks. And let me tell ya, it really lifts the tush. It was fun too.

  5. Great post, loving the running girl in full evening dress ha, ha!

    Happy Christmas!

    Sharon xxx


  6. Love the recommendations. I wanted to lose about 10 lbs. We shall see!

  7. Thanks so musch for all the great advice I am def writing all this down. The boyfriend and me are going on a diet in January and we are joining the gym to. To me its not about losing weight its just about getting healthier. If I lose weight that is great but if I dont start taking care of my body now at the age of 25 I sure want do it the older I get. Merry Christmas!!!

  8. i'm obsessed with that photograph. well, and of course this blog too.. the whole 2.5 years that i've been reading.

  9. The only way i can make myself do cardio is by taking classes, but I do that a lot and LOVE it. Step is one of my favorites :)

  10. Great ideas! I'm dying to try a spin class, but I can never find one that fits with my work schedule. Maybe this year will be it! Loving your series!



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