Getting into a steady fitness rhythm is an amazing start in your health journey. Between supporting weight loss efforts, toning, strengthening, and even helping support a more positive mental outlook, exercise does it all. But, it’s not just enough to do the same workout every single day—there’s a balancing act involved and a need to add some cross-training and variety. So, we’re spilling the deets on the top signs you need more cardio in your life.
Plus, we’ll share our top three ways to get more cardio into your life without spending any time on the treadmill.
6 Signs You Need More Cardio
#1 You Get Winded Too Quickly
If you do pretty good with lower impact workouts (like Pilates and yoga), but find yourself getting winded pretty quickly with higher impact workouts, this could be a sign you need more cardio.
It goes without saying that cardio workouts help strengthen your cardiovascular system (like your heart and blood vessels). So, getting more cardio in may help you boost stamina and not feel so winded when you have to pick up the pace during a Tabata or HIIT workout.
#2 Fitness Fatigue is Something You Experience on the Reg
Then there’s the dreaded fitness fatigue where you feel completely drained after every single workout. This can feel different than just getting winded too quickly during a higher intensity sweat sesh. With fitness fatigue, you may peter out no matter what form of exercise you’re doing.
And, while there may be a number of reasons for this, one thing to keep in mind is that it may just be a sign that you need to build up your stamina a bit, especially if you are just stepping into a brand new fitness routine. With more regular cardio, you may find yourself increasing your stamina faster than if you didn’t do any cardio at all.
The takeaway here is that with consistent cardio added in with your current fitness routine, you can work on that stamina and say goodbye to that unwanted fitness fatigue.
#3 You Struggle to Power Through HIIT Workouts
As mentioned before, sometimes a sign that you need more cardio may be that you find yourself running out of steam during workouts that require your heart rate to climb.
During the workouts that really get the blood pumping, you may feel way more out of shape than when you do something lower impact.
Don’t sweat it if this is the case for you—just take it as a sign that you may need to up your cardio game.
#4 You Feel Tired Even on Your Rest Days
While feeling tired can obviously be due to many different factors, if you’re eating clean, exercising on the reg, and taking steps to reduce your stress, you should be in a fairly good place to have sustained energy levels.
But, if you’re feeling drained even on your rest days, adding some more cardio into your routine may give you some added pep in your step. Research shows that cardio actually strengthens the mitochondria, (which you probably know from science class as the power plants of the cells). This is huge for energy support, and another good reason to make sure you’re getting enough cardio.
#5 You Find Yourself Recovering Slower Than Usual
Muscle soreness is a normal thing after an intense leg or upper body day, but if you find yourself suffering from sore muscles day after day, you may benefit from some added cardio.
Cardio helps clear lactic acid from the muscles, so you may actually bounce back faster with some additional cardiovascular training.
#6 Strengthen Training Results Are Plateauing
While cardio workouts are usually viewed as something we do to lose weight, cardio is also amazing for increasing blood flow to our muscles and even promoting muscle strength.
If you’ve hit a strength and toning plateau, this may be another one of those signs you need more cardio. Cardiovascular training is the perfect complement to all the strength training you are doing, so be sure to add some to your fitness routine.
Our Top 3 Favorite Ways to Add More Cardio Into Your Life
Mix up your fitness routine with a cardio kickboxing class with FitOn trainer Breann Mitchell. She will take you through 14 minutes of intense cardio work that will leave you feeling like a champion.
Add a fun twist to how you get your cardio in with this Cardio Booty Burn Barre class, taught by FitOn trainer Katie Dunlop. Katie will get you sweating and toning in under 30 minutes.
Why not get a total body workout in while also working up a serious cardio sweat? This workout, taught by FitOn trainer Caroline Pearce is just 11 minutes but is sure to get your heart and blood pumping and leave you with that post cardio endorphin buzz.
Use Cardio to Take Your Fitness Results to the Next Level
An effective fitness routine is all about balance. To get the most out of all the work you put in, add some variety, being sure to mix in enough cardio with strength training, and lower impact days.
Ideally, try to get two cardio workouts in per week, if you’re looking to gain muscle, and up to five days of cardio per week if weight loss is your goal.
And, if you’re stuck on how to get more cardio in without having to rely on the dreaded treadmill, press play on one of our top three cardio picks to make cardio fun and super effective for supercharging your fitness results.