鈥淐ardio is hardio.鈥 鈥淢y favorite kind of cardio is no cardio.鈥 鈥淚 wish I loved cardio as much as I love literally anything else.鈥 You get the idea. Despite regularly packed treadmills, ellipticals, and stair climbers, cardio isn鈥檛 necessarily as popular as it may seem. Long-form cardio, specifically, can seem particularly mind-numbing, especially if it鈥檚 regularly your go-to workout.

Don鈥檛 get us wrong; we certainly recognize cardio as one of the quintessential components of a well-rounded fitness routine. But sometimes we wish we could do it just a bit less. So we asked Aaptiv trainers, Ackeem Emmons and Erin Sanders, to share some tips to cut down on cardio and still get results. If you spend your sweat sessions willing the clock to spring forward, read on.

Woman jogging on treadmill at gym

1. Redefine cardio. Our first problem with cardio is the way we think about cardio. It doesn鈥檛 have to mean logging endless miles on an elliptical or treadmill. 鈥淢ost of us loathe cardio,鈥 admits Emmons. 鈥淭o work around it, we have to know what it actually is.鈥 He explains that cardio is simply physical exercise that depends on aerobic energy 鈥 it can be low or high intensity. 鈥淵ou don鈥檛 have to run, sprint, or jump,鈥 he says. 鈥淭raining at a pace, rhythm, or certain intensity level can constitute as cardiovascular training.鈥 Incorporate intervals of varying resistances and inclines into your cardio workouts to take them up a notch, cut through the boredom, and slash the time.

2. HIIT it hard. ICYMI: HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is the easiest way to get an effective workout in a shorter amount of time. HIIT helps you get lean via different levels of intensity, allowing your body to burn both fat and calories. It鈥檚 really a full-body form of exercise, pairing short, intense movements with minimal recovery windows. All of this allows for efficient fat burn, increased endurance, and improved strength. HIIT can come in many forms: as intervals on a cardio machine, as bodyweight movements like squat jumps and burpees, or even as a method of weightlifting.

Women working out with gym ball in gym

3. Pick up the weights. By now someone must鈥檝e told you that strength training is one of the most effective and efficient ways to see results. Sanders suggests added strength-based exercises into your routine 3-4 days a week. 鈥淚ncorporate strength training moves into a circuit workout so you get your heart rate up, burn calories, and build muscle as well,鈥 she says.

Emmons seconds that and recommends creating a strength workout that鈥檚 still based in the basics of cardio and keeps that heart rate up. 鈥淟ifting heavy weights quickly is not the safest route, but staying in the gym for hours isn鈥檛 ideal either,鈥 he says. 鈥淭o lift and get my cardiovascular training in simultaneously, I simply shorten my rest period.鈥 This ensures that you鈥檙e working toward those results in a shorter period of time.

4. Clean up your diet. The food you eat plays a huge role in your results. In fact, it plays a bigger role in weight loss than exercise. 鈥淵ou can train like an Olympian, but if your diet isn鈥檛 up to par, you鈥檙e not going to see results,鈥 Emmons says. 鈥淓veryone is different and there isn鈥檛 a specific diet for everyone.鈥 He recommends researching and trying new recipes. Always consider how a new or improved diet might fit in with your current lifestyle and settle on something that will last long-term. And, of course, don鈥檛 be too strict with yourself. 鈥淚t鈥檚 easy to get caught up with the little mistakes or guilty pleasures,鈥 he says. 鈥淚t鈥檚 not what you do all of the time; it鈥檚 what you do most of the time.鈥

Do you have a tip for doing less cardio and still seeing results? Share it with us @Aaptiv and @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)