For most of us, cardio is so difficult to stay consistent with. With strength training, we seem to instinctively know that it works so much better with a trainer or in a class. But with cardio, we have a strongly rooted belief that we should be able to do it on our own. We think, "It's just a walk. I should be able to throw on my shoes and go."
What if we just did away with that belief? Perhaps it isn't true.
Perhaps we need others to do this. Perhaps the struggle comes from believing it should be this heroic solo effort of conquering all the obstacles and just doing it.
If it is true that we need others, how do we get ourselves connected and accountable? I know for me, if I tell someone I will meet them for a walk, I am one hundred times more likely to show up than if I have this vague idea of wanting to walk that day.
There are lots of ways.
Sign up for a cardio class. This can be anything from spinning, hip hop, Zumba, Water aerobics, old school aerobics class, Jazzercize, or cardio kickboxing (my current favorite). What matters is you find it fun, safe, and you are able to get your heart rate into your target zone. You can find very affordable classes. Grab a friend and go! It doesn't have to be every day. Try once a week to start.
Get online and start chatting. You can post your goals on Facebook, Spark People, Weight Watchers online, or any of the other supportive forums out there for women getting fit. Post your updates on Clear Rock's Facebook page. I would love to read about your adventures in cardio every day! The key is to open up and state your intention.
Join a walking or running group. There are all kinds. The Columbus Metro Park system has a great walking challenge. We have Step and Stride. And Columbus is also blessed with MIT, a popular group for walkers and runners to have others to train with, whether their goal distance is 5K or marathon. Conquer your fears about being too slow or too old or whatever and show up ready to make new fitness friends.
Have an accountability partner. In all areas of change and recovery, a person who is willing to hold you accountable can be the one thing that gets you moving in the right direction. Ask one of your most supportive friends to help you. Explain that you want to start walking twice a week, but you need someone to go with or you need someone that you can talk to about it that won't get sick of hearing about it. These people are such gifts. If you have a friend that you can celebrate your workout accomplishments with regularly, you are blessed. If you don't then email me! I would love to celebrate with you.
Finding time and motivation to do cardio consistently is not easy. I started to make changes when I stopped berating myself for struggling, and instead just accepted that it was hard then found strategies that helped me do it. We are not meant to do this alone. I know a lot of women who struggle and are stuck, yet deal with their frustration in isolation. The lie is I am supposed to be able to do this on my own. The truth is I am supposed to ask for help when I need it and in turn help someone else.
At the root is courage, and we all have it. That's all it takes to risk showing someone who you really are. You will be amazed how that one thing, that brave act, changes everything.