7 Cardio Exercises To Do at Home

cardio exercises

Did you know that the World Health Organization recommends that people exercise for 150 minutes a week? That’s less than 24 minutes a day to improve your health and fitness. You can do that, and I can help! The WHO also recommends following along with an online fitness class (hint, hint). 

One easy way to get up and moving is to incorporate cardio exercises to your at-home workouts. A consistent cardio routine helps you relieve stress, lose weight, and can even prevent heart disease. 

Ready to get your at-home cardio exercises started? Read on, and learn more!

1. Butt Kicks

Butt kicks are a great way to work your cardiovascular system, increase muscle strength, improve endurance, and best of all, use only your body weight as resistance. 

There are several variations of butt kicker exercises, and they can often look like you’re running in place, while, as the name implies, kicking your bottom with your heel. About 30 seconds of this drill is enough to get your heart rate up, and body ready to move on to the next exercises. 

Form is important to avoid injury while trying these exercises, and, if you join Jen’s Get Fit Group, I can help show you the proper way to do them. 

2. Go For a Walk or Run

Both walking and running are excellent forms of cardio exercise. Take a walk around the neighborhood, or a jog through the park. A recent study found that a quick walk, just 3 days a week, can improve your mental health, mood, and self-esteem. So, make yourself feel good, and take a walk around the block. 

Weather not cooperating? That’s OK. You can always stay inside and…

3. Walk in Place

An easy way to keep moving, while also improving your balance is to walk in place. Walking can elevate your heart rate, which makes this exercise a good cardio warm-up activity. It’s also simple, walk in one place, lifting your knees as you do so. If you need more of a challenge, try raising your knees higher, or speeding up a bit.

You can also try…

4. High Knees

The opposite of butt kicks, high knees bring your legs in front of you, and knees up towards your chest. They’re a great way to engage your core, strengthen leg muscles, get your heart rate up, and improve momentum, coordination and flexibility.

If you’re trying high knees for the first time, be sure to take it slow, and keep your form. Start by standing with your legs hip-distance apart, exhale as you lift one leg up into a 90-degree angle towards your chest, balancing on one leg, then transfer your weight to the other side, and switch. Repeat this back and forth motion. Remember to keep your core tight, spine neutral, and legs in line with your hips. This may sound a bit complicated, but if you join my group, I can help you get the movement down in no time!

5. Squat Jumps

Another plyometric exercise to try are squat jumps. They work your core, calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. They combine the benefits of cardio with strength training, by using your own body weight as resistance.

The key to doing squat jumps is to do them correctly. I know I say it a lot, but form is important. Start by standing with your arms at your sides and your feet apart at hip-width distance. Then, bend at your knees, and into a squat. Jump into the air and straighten your body. Be sure to land softly on the balls of your feet. Then repeat. 

Squat jumps can be tough. They’ll work hard on your legs, glutes, and lungs all at once—but they’re worth it! There may be times when the motivation to do them just isn’t there, but that’s when your #sweatysisters will be there to help you stay consistent!

6. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers will work your entire body. Speed them up, and give your workouts a boost of low-impact cardio. Slow them down, and you challenge your core stabilization and hip flexion. They’ll get your heart rate up, engage your core, and build up your strength and endurance.

There are many variations of mountain climbers, and I can recommend different versions depending on your goals, but first, start with the basics. 

Start in a high plank position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart. Keep your neck relaxed by looking down between your hands. Begin the exercise by bringing your left knee up toward your chest, then quickly stepping it back to plank position. Then do the same with your right knee, and step back into plank position. Then, repeat. 

7. Burpees

Burpees get your entire body moving and engaged. Like jump squats, they combine cardio and strength training to work your arms, core, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and everything else. In fact, a recent study found that combining bodyweight exercises with cardio exercises can not only get you in shape, but it can also lower your blood pressure, especially if done in a community-based exercise group (wink, wink). 

Need More Information?

I’m here to help you with workouts, for all fitness levels, that can be done anytime, anywhere, and in just 24 min. a day. I’ll give you one-on-one support, advice, and motivation to keep you going. Sign up for your first month of training today, and join the #sweatysisterhood!

Sweat Your Booty Off With These 7 At Home Glute Exercises

glute exercises at home

Booty, butt, derriere, backside, bum…whatever you call it, there are advantages to working out your gluteus minimus, medius and maximus muscles. You might be wishing for a booty like J-Lo, and we can work on that goal, but there are many (more realistic) benefits to glute exercise. 

Strong glutes help you climb stairs, lift heavy items with ease, improve athletic performance, and even reduce risk of injury to your knees, lower back, hamstrings, and groin.

Now, where to start strengthening these powerful muscles? I recommend several workouts to my members, but you can read on to learn some glute exercises to try out at home. 

1. Try Different Types of Squats

Squats are a good place to start. Not only are they great for strengthening glutes, but they’re also great for your hips, core, and back muscles. There are plenty of different types of squats you can perform, and each work different muscle groups in your body. It’s important to remember, however, whichever you choose, be sure to practice your form and technique to avoid injury. 

One of the most common, and probably the squat you’re most familiar with is the bodyweight squat or air squat. To perform this basic exercise, start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Keep your chest up, engage your core, and shift your weight onto your heels as you push your hips back into a sitting position. Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. You should feel the squat in your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Pause with your knees over, but not beyond, your toes. Exhale on your way up, push back up to the starting position, and repeat.

An added benefit to these basic squats is that because they utilize your body weight, they can be done anywhere! As you get stronger, and more experienced with your form, you may want to add some dumbbells for an added challenge. 

2. Make Aerobic Exercise A Part of Your Routine

Mix aerobic activity into your routine. Try walking uphill, or elevating the incline on your treadmill or elliptical machine. As you build up strength, you can replace these exercises with sprinting intervals to help further build and strengthen your glutes.

Running regularly is good for glute exercise, but it’s also beneficial for your overall health. While you’re running your booty off, you’re building strong bones, improving cardiovascular health, and paired with proper macros can help lose fat.

3. Perform Lunges 

Lunges are another great exercise for your lower body. They mimic a running motion to work the chain of muscles in your core, lower body, from your hips and glutes all the way to your ankles and feet. 

There are plenty of lunges you can try, and each type has its own benefits. Side lunges, also known as lateral lunges, can help you increase flexibility and strengthen your quad and glute muscles. Walking lunges keep your body moving and help elevate your heart rate. Adding a core twist to lunges works the abdominal muscles. If you choose to join my group, I can recommend several different lunges for your body type, and teach you the proper form. 

Remember to take your time, keep your balance, and use proper lunging form to build body control while also engaging your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. 

That balance will add to your overall fitness and help you build total-body strength and become more agile.

4. Do Some Burpees

Burpees get your entire body moving and engaged. They combine cardio and strength training to work your arms, core, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and everything else. In fact, a recent study found that combining bodyweight exercises with aerobic workouts can not only get you in shape, but it can also lower your blood pressure, especially if done in a community-based exercise group (wink, wink). 

You’ll have an easier time getting up and down flights of stairs once burpees become a regular part of your routine. It works all of your muscle groups and helps to build endurance that is unmatched.

5. Try Leg Lifts

Leg lifts help you build up leg and glute muscles, and, like many of the other exercises I’ve recommended, will work more than just your booty. They engage your core, lower back, and hips. They can be done standing, or laying down, and if you are looking for an added challenge, can be done with resistance bands

Add a little bit of weight at a time and you’ll love how your legs look.

6. Dance It Out

Take some dance breaks to literally (and figuratively) shake your booty off! 

Remember exercise can be fun, so there’s no reason that dancing and fitness can’t go hand in hand. It’s a total body workout that heavily engages the hips, glutes, and thighs. It’s great for your heart, and can also improve your mood, balance, and coordination. Additionally, dancing for just 30 minutes can burn roughly the same amount of calories as jogging. 

We have several dance cardio workouts for JGFG members. 

7. Begin An At Home Glute Exercises Routine

No matter where you are on your fitness journey, I can help you discover the right plan to achieve your #bootygoals. I’ll give you one on one support, advice, and motivation to keep you going. Sign up for your first month of training today, and join the #sweatysisterhood!

Why It’s Important to Incorporate Macros Into Your Workout Routine

macros

How we fuel our bodies is just as important as the calories we burn and the muscles we build.

There are TONS of diet plans out there. You can count calories, points, carbs…or, you can track one of the most countable elements: macros. Similar to counting calories or points, tracking macros takes the idea one step further, to help you understand where your calories are coming from, and how they affect your body.

Read on and learn the skinny on macros!

 

What Are Macros?

What are macros? Macros, short for macronutrients, are the three main categories of nutrients needed to provide you with the greatest amount of energy. They’re also the nutrients we consume the most of – protein, carbohydrates, and fats. 

Protein keeps your body moving and happy. It helps you build muscle, keeps you full, plus, it’s found in every bodily tissue, and can assist with recovery after exercise. Some healthy sources of protein, including eggs, dairy products, lentils, beans, poultry, and fish.

Carbohydrates are the energy macro. They help sustain energy levels, hormone balance, and brain function. The best sources of carbs (whole grain bread, legumes, fruits and vegetables) contain plenty of fiber and nutrients to help you power through any workout.

Finally, fats. Good fats are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health. Fats are also an important part of  maintaining a healthy weight and provide your body with energy along with many cell and hormonal functions. The good (unsaturated) sources of fat include vegetable oils (like olive oil), as well as nuts, seeds, and fish. Eating a healthy balance of these foods can actually help increase your endurance. 

According to The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, we should try to get 10%-35% of our calories from protein, 45%-65% from carbohydrates, and 20%-35% from fats. Keeping track can seem like a tall order, but I can help make it a little easier when you join my group for weekly meal plans, recipes, shopping lists, and snack ideas.

 

Why You Should Incorporate Macros Into Your Workout Routine

Counting macros helps you understand where your calories are coming from, and how they affect your body. Tracking macros helps you manage strength, energy, performance, and even sleep!

 

Energize Your Morning Workout

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and eating a healthy, macro-filled breakfast is the perfect way to fuel yourself for it. In fact, drinking or eating carbohydrates before you exercise can improve your workout performance and can make it easier for you to workout at a higher intensity or for a longer amount of time. Some macro-packed breakfast options include oats or whole wheat bread with a natural nut butter. If you join my group, I can provide weekly breakfasts on a meal plan you can use as a guide. 

 

Prevent Hunger Pangs 

Another reason to incorporate macros into your workout is to help prevent hunger pangs. Eating protein helps keep hunger in check, and incorporating plenty of lean protein into your diet can help keep you satisfied and productive throughout your workout, and beyond.

 

Recover Faster After Your Workout

Incorporating macros into your routine helps you recover after a workout. In fact, by drinking an isolate protein within an hour of finishing your workout, you’re helping your muscles both restore and recover.

 

Need More Information?

Now that you have an idea of what macros are, and why they’re important to sustain a healthy lifestyle, you might want some additional nutrition tips. Or, maybe you want to discover what workouts are best for your fitness goals.

Whatever information you need, I’m here to help. Reach out today