Cardio workouts are great forms of exercise. Not only does cardio help with weight loss, but it also improves the overall healthiness of your heart and lungs. For example, it decreases your blood pressure and your resting heart rate. This means your heart doesn’t have to work so hard all the time, giving lungs greater capacity. Since cardio workouts are long, tiring and sweaty, people tend to dread them. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. What many don’t realise is that cardio doesn’t have to be a strenuous and repeated activity for a long period of time. A cardio workout can be characterised by a series of different exercises in one routine, which makes it much more fun and simple. Here are some easy cardio workouts that anyone, no matter your shape, size or age, can do at home.
Jumping jacks are a classic exercise move because it tones many parts of your body – your inner and outer thighs, quadriceps, laterals, and deltoids, to be precise.
- Stand completely straight with your arms resting beside your body and your feet together.
- Jump up into the air as high as you can and bend your knees a little.
- In the air spread your legs out slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Do the same with your hands and arms, too in line with your shoulders.
- When landing ensure your feet remain shoulder width apart.
- Go back to the beginning stance and pose and repeat.
If you want to do this exercise on its own, then do 2 sets of 30 reps each, to begin with, increasing your reps to 100 with time. Something fab about jumping jacks is that they can also be done as part of a routine with other exercises.
Burpees are known for being difficult and brutal, but don’t let this deter you. That only means you don’t have to do as many as you would an easier technique. A burpee trains almost every muscle in your body, including your shoulders, chest, abs, quads, inner thighs, butt, and triceps; however, it is imperative they are done properly in order to achieve results.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms resting at your sides.
- Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
- Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto your hands.
- Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air.
- Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
- Reach your arms overhead and jump straight into the air making your body vertical.
- Land and lower back into a squat for your next rep.
Now we will be looking at cardio workouts that incorporate the moves we have already looked at and some other similar ones.
Plyo HIIT Circuit
While the name sounds complicated, the routine itself is not. The workout is courtesy of fitness publication Prevention. It works so well because the power moves involved spike your heart rate and increase your metabolism.
The time required: 18 minutes
How to do it: Do each move below for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of recovery in between. Repeat the circuit 3 times.
- Jumping Jacks
- Squat Jumps
- Skater Jumps
- Plank Jacks
- High Knees
- Fast Feet
- Mountain Climbers
If you’re unsure what any of the moves are, rest assured they are all simple, require no equipment and come with quick tutorials online!
HIIT Dumbbell Workout
Again by Prevention, this cardio workout involves equipment. It can still be done at home since a dumbbell is easy to buy and reasonably priced. Using it will help you achieve your goals faster. A dumbbell workout is great for driving fat loss and improving cardio since it recruits all of your muscle groups and gives you the heart rate-boosting benefits.
The time required: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: One set of dumbbells (go for 3-8 pounds depending on your personal fitness level. If you’re a newbie, it is better to start off light).
How to do it: Perform each move for 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds between moves. Once you’ve completed all 6 moves, that’s 1 round. Do 5 total rounds.
- Jumping jacks with overhead dumbbell press
- Goblet squats
- Plyo lunges
- Renegade rows
Cardio is undeniably great for you, but we’re glad we broke the myth that it’s also extremely long and difficult. All of these routines can be done in the comfort of your own home, no matter who you are!