Five Simple Cardio Workouts to Try at Home
When we say cardio workout, we automatically think of treadmills or elliptical. For most busybodies, this means hitting the gym – a rare feat for those working hard on building their careers.
Cardio workouts, however, does not always mean spending an hour or two at the local fitness center nor do the workouts always involve high intensity exercises. In fact, there are low-impact workouts you can do at the comforts of your own home.
Here are 5 simple workouts you can easily adapt into a routine for anytime and anywhere.
No-Gym Exercises to Improve Your Heart’s Health
Make sure you stretch before jumping jacks – roll and stretch your arms, shoulders, head, and joints to avoid muscle cramps. Warm-ups are important for they help you ease into the whole workout session, and jumping jacks are a great way to get your heart rate to slowly go faster.
With your feet together, jump and then separate your legs while raising your arms overhead. Jump again with your feet back together and your arms lowered. Warming up with jumping jacks should ideally take up to a maximum of 5 minutes – this will already get you slightly sweating.
There is one thing that not all gyms have, and yes, that’s stairs.
Run up a flight of stairs as fast as you can with your arms pumping all the way up. Then, walk down slowly to avoid falling. You can also vary how you do this – you can take two stairs at a time or three, depending on how much you can manage. A complete set of this would normally take 5 minutes or more, but you can either shorten or lengthen it.
Consider this the first part of your main set. Mountain climbers are great for the heart, as well as great for your core, your arms, and legs.
Start this exercise by getting on a straight-arm plank position. Your hands should be placed below the shoulder level, and your body must be straight from your neck down to your heels. Onto the center of your body, lift and drive up your knee and then quickly switch legs.
Do your best to keep your hips leveled, and make sure your wrists are directly below your shoulders. Challenge yourself to do as many as you can in a minute.
The second part of your main set can be done by squat jumps, which are a plyometric exercise. This type of workout is focused on building the strength in your calves and quads, but this will effectively get your heart rate running.
Now this is known to be high impact most of the time, but you can do this slowly and carefully to stop it from becoming taxing. Bend your knees to form a squat position. Make sure your hips are behind your knee level when you squat. Jump as high as you can and then land back on the squat position.
This should only ideally take up to 30 or 60 seconds, but if you feel like leveling it up, make sure you do a bit of variation like touching the ground upon landing.
Jogging in place
Who says you always need a treadmill? Jogging in place can do as much as a treadmill or elliptical. You would only need to time your jogs manually which is very easy to do.
Jogging or running is a main cardio workout, but the great thing about it is you can vary your speed easily yourself. You can jog to get the whole workout session hyped up, or you can start jogging slowly to ease into cooling down. A good jog should ideally take up to 5 minutes, but you can always push yourself to jog for as long as you like.
Just always make sure to end the whole session the way you started it with – do the same warm-up exercises to cool down and relax your whole body.