Cardiovascular exercise can be fun, but many people struggle with doing their daily cardio because they don’t enjoy it. There are plenty of ways to make it go by faster and get the most for your time, and interval training is a great way to do so.

The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days a week to maintain health; to lose weight it’s suggested that more may be necessary. ACSM guidelines along with the AHA also suggest that if you cannot meet your daily 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, you can do 20 minutes of more vigorous exercise instead.

Interval training can be utilized to get the suggested more vigorous exercise daily as well as on days where you’re crunched for time.

Here are some tips:

1. Whether it’s on a treadmill, elliptical or bike, manually change your resistance or incline, or use the program settings on the machine. You should also fix your resistance to be challenging for a period of around two minutes, alternating with a period of lower resistance to recover. This will keep your heart rate elevated, make your workout more challenging and burn more fat.

2. For days when the cardio machines are packed or you cannot stand the thought of another 45-minute session, try something new; cardio doesn’t have to be on a machine. Use circuit training as a way to fit in your cardiovascular exercise. Do a round of several exercises for three to four sets at a quick pace and you’ll get an even better workout than on the treadmill. Doing this at a fast pace with little rest will keep your heart rate up and give you a great workout with weights.

3. If you’re outside, try changing it up by using city blocks as your intervals. Walk a block, then jog a block, or make your distances longer. The changing pace is a great way to keep your heart rate increased.

Changing distances will also challenge your body! Some days try to walk or run for longer than usual. On days you are crunched for time, try to walk or run at a faster pace to challenge yourself. 

Making slight changes to your routine will challenge you and get the results you deserve! It also gives you a creative and exciting workout. Adding upbeat music will help you keep a faster pace and keep that energy flowing.

Remember, keeping your routine fresh is key to achieving your fitness goals.!