When it comes to cardio, cutting through the little public footway instead of doing the full circuit is not going to cut the mustard. However there are some less time consuming ways to induce the physiological strain required to trigger cardiorespiratory supercompensation (training adaptation), a couple of examples are listed below:
Cheat 1: HIIT it from a different angle
If you’re idea of cardio is ‘running late’, then save time and increase your chances of sticking at it with HIIT training. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, which requires the person to perform bouts of explosive sprints followed by a recovery phase consisting of gentle jogs or walking.
You tap into both the aerobic (energy in the presence of oxygen) and anaerobic (energy in the absence of oxygen) energy pathways, similar to that of steady state distance running, but you’re finished in a fraction of the time. HIIT training is also a great way to burn fat, all the more reason to give it a try!
Cheat 2: Perform Supersets
Pounding the pavement or taking to the running trails is great for overall conditioning, but there are other ways besides running to meet your cardio quota. Lifting weights in an intense yet controlled manner is very effective, this is known as ‘supersetting’. Perform medium to high reps with a short rest period (ideally no longer than 30 seconds) to elevate your cardiorespiratory rate, forcing your body to adapt. This not only supports overall fitness and conditioning in a way that is similar to running, but also improves muscle strength and endurance, as well as a little fat loss thrown in for good measure. Win win!
So to be clear, I am not condoning 'cheating' per se, as you can see from the above there is still plenty of work need doing! However, when you come to a wall in your training you can do one of 2 things, smash through it and drive on valiantly, or adapt and find another route to suit you. Either way the end result is the same.