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.
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!