Walking through the gym doors everyday can be a struggle for everyone because of work, kids, school, etc. Don’t let those commitments discourage you from getting your deserved daily cardio workouts in, though. These easy-to-do exercises can be done at home, and will quickly get your heart pumping!
Cardio Workout #1: Jump Rope
Jumping rope is a very effective exercise that most people can do. It tones and conditions all major upper and lower muscle groups while getting your heart rate revved up. There are also multiple ways you can use a jump rope to your benefit:
- The basic double foot jump
- Alternate foot jump – skipping motion
- Running step - a slight jog that is added to the skipping technique
- High step- you raise your knees higher with the slight jog, making the intensity harder
- Side to side step- alternate your feet from the left side to the right side when you land
Cardio Workout #2: Mountain Climb Exercise
This exercise works the entire body, but especially your legs.
- Start by getting on all fours, with your arms aligned with your chest.
- Do not lock your elbows or knees; you want to keep them both slightly bent, and stay on the toes of your feet.
- Then bring one leg forward to your chest, and repeat rapidly while alternating between legs.
- Try doing 20 leg alterations at first. Then adjust the number to fit your fitness level.
Cardio Workout #3: Climbing stairs
If you have stairs at home, this is a great exercise to get your heart rate up while toning the lower half. If you have two sets of stairs, use them both. If you don’t have stairs, improvise with a step stool. Try doing each of these variations for five minutes to work multiple muscle groups.
- The basic One-Step Climb- Climb your stairs like you would everyday.
- Two-Step Climb- Skip a step when climbing your stairs (this wouldn’t work with a step stool), concentrating on your hamstrings and gluts.
- Side Step Climb- Climb the stairs side ways, working on your inner and outer thighs.
- Backwards One-Step Climb-Turn around so your climbing the stairs backwards, focusing on the quadriceps.
Cardio Workout #4: Jumping Jacks Combo
This exercise combines jumping jacks, squats, push-ups and sit-ups. It’s great for toning, but also a great way to get your heart working. Make sure you’re near a clock to keep track of your time. Each exercise will be a minute long.
- Start by doing jumping jacks. While doing the jumping jacks, you may spin in a circle to help use different muscle groups.
- Then squat (keep your back straight and don’t let your knees go over your toes) and get into position where your arms are even with your shoulders, and your legs are extended behind you. Begin doing push-ups.
- Bring both feet forward, where you are in a frog jumping position, then sit down and begin doing sit-ups, keeping your feet flat on the ground, your hands behind your head, and constantly looking up at the ceiling.
- Stand up, as if you were coming up from a squat and repeat the combination for as long as you can, but try setting a goal before you begin.
Try doing these cardio workouts with a friend; not only will the sessions be more fun, but you will have someone to encourage you through the exercise. A workout buddy is a great way to stay motivated.