Since launching my signature Strength collection (16-weeks of gym-based workouts), I’ve really come to understand the benefits of focusing on maintaining lean muscle mass. I think we’ve all had our fair share of fitness phases – and one phase that I’ve outgrown is overworking myself. Aka, too much cardio.

Now, I really prefer to focus on elevating my heart rate through strength training, and less strenuous forms of cardio like incline walking, jumping rope, walking, etc. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do cardio, don’t get me wrong! But if you’re looking for an alternative to running, I’m your girl.

Create a sustainable step goal for yourself.

Whether you wear a tracking device (Apple Watch, Oura Ring, Whoop, etc) that counts your steps, or if you have a time goal in mind (30 min, an hour, etc) – create a goal for how much walking you’ll do every day. I love seeing how many steps I get in a day, and I’m often pleasantly surprised by how my daily activities contribute to my step goal. Start by adding a morning and evening walk into your day, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes. Walking is an incredible way to add LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) into your day, and not only is it great for your physical body, but mental health as well.

Add a team sport into your routine.

Get out and play tennis, join a recreation volleyball league, walk 9 holes on the golf course with a friend, or even a game of kick-ball with your family. I personally can’t wait to play some pickleball this summer! The beauty of picking up a sport during summer is sneaking in your cardio in a way that is both productive and fun. Don’t underestimate the value of having a good time for your fitness.

Learn something new.

When I started jumping rope, I couldn’t believe how fast time went by because I was so focused on mastering the next skill. Jumping rope in particular requires so much focus that 20-30 minutes goes by in the blink of an eye. It is also so rewarding to get better over time and add skills and learn new combinations. I highly recommend jumping rope, because I personally love it and find it so convenient – you can pack your jump rope and bring it anywhere. You can also check out the 30-Day Jump Rope Challenge from Recreation Sweat as a learning tool – there are over 10 combinations to learn, along with demonstrations and technique tips for each. For me, jumping rope makes cardio fun.

Welcome! I’m Rachael.

I enjoy sharing my love for food and fitness. I'm a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, and a New York Times Bestselling author. Here you'll find all kinds of recipes and kitchen hacks, as well as workouts and fitness motivation. Enjoy! — xx Rachael

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