Try These Simple At-Home Cardio Exercises for a Stronger, Healthier You

Jose Castillo

When it comes to cardio workoutsyour mind is likely to run to memories of racing in the treadmill or ride a bike without rest. Cardio gets a bad rap because it’s often associated with long, painful sessions of running or biking to get all the amazing benefits of aerobic exercise. But not all cardio is created equal, and you can get your heart rate up with a series of cardio moves at home.

Cardiovascular training, also known as aerobic training, refers to any rhythmic physical exercise that increase your heart rate,” He says Kym Nolden, CPT, Precision Nutrition Trainer, and FRC Certified Mobility Specialist. A spike in heart rate sends oxygen-rich blood to your muscles and organs, which then use it to perform their specific functions. “An aerobic exercise is something you can do while creating most of your energy to do the exercise with oxygen. This can include things like walkingwalking, jogging, bicycling, swimminggardening, cleaning, farm work and dancing.”

Why should I do cardio?

As your cardio increases, your body’s ability to work harder increases and your body becomes more efficient at transporting oxygen to your bloodstream. “This is also why cardio is so important for overall health, but also for goals like building strength and losing weight,” says Nolden.

Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week, or a combination of both. And Nolden says the benefits are well worth adding cardio to your exercise routine.

For one thing, cardio helps lower blood pressure, decrease stress, build strength and improve sleep, Nolden says. And it also does wonders for mental health. “When we panic or cry too much, we often hiccup or gasp for air. Adding cardio can strengthen your body’s stress response by strengthening your breathing systems,” she says. “Breathing can invigorate and calm your body.”

If you want to do more cardio but dread the treadmill, don’t worry. Below, Nolden offers 15 cardio moves to try at home. All you need is a yoga mat or towel, a set of light dumbbellsand a jump the rope!

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Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start in a squat with your hands behind your head and your elbows open. Step back with your right foot and kneel down, followed by bringing your left leg back so that you are in a kneeling posture resting on your knees. Then, step back with your right foot, followed by your left to return to a squat. Alternate sides.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds each side for three to five reps

How: Start with a low lunge. Jump as you switch legs in the air, then quickly switch legs when you land. Stay on one side for 30 seconds, followed by the other. Aim to land with your knees bent to protect your joints.

3

Change of jumps with front kick

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds each side for three to five reps

How: Start in a low lunge with your left knee forward. Jump as you switch legs in the air, then land opposite leg forward in a low lunge. Jump back to the starting position, then kick your right leg forward for one rep. Repeat on both sides for 30 seconds.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds each side for three to five reps

How: Start standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Squat down and keep your knees over your ankles as you put your weight through your heels. As you come up, kick your left leg across your body and touch your left toe with your right hand.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take two light dumbbells and rest them on your shoulders with your thumbs facing in. Squat down and keep your knees over your ankles as you put your weight through your heels. As you stand up, raise your arms above your head to do an overhead shoulder press.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

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How: Start standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Squat down and keep your knees over your ankles as you put your weight through your heels. Jump up to bring your knees to your chest and touch your knees with your hands. Land with your knees bent in a squat position.

7

One arm RDL stance

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds each side for three to five reps

How: Begin to stand up straight with your right foot a step back. He lifts his right heel and presses into the ball of his right foot. With a dumbbell in your right hand and palms facing in, reach down to lower the dumbbell toward the ground while keeping it close to your right leg. Straighten your right arm while standing and press the dumbbell skyward for an overhead shoulder press. Repeat on the other side after 30 seconds.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Place a medicine ball on the ground in front of you. Jump to touch the ball with the bottom of your right foot and quickly switch to touch your left foot as your right foot returns to start.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start in a wide squat with your toes slightly pointed out. Jump to bring your legs into a low squat, then jump back into a wide squat. Keep your weight in your heels and stay low.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start in a plank with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and feet hip-width apart. Extend all 10 fingers and keep your elbows slightly bent. As you push off the mat, jump to bring your feet to the outer sides of the mat, then return them to a neutral plank position.

eleven

Reverse knee to elbow lunge

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds each side for three to five reps

How: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Place both hands around the back of your neck with your elbows open. Step back into a low lunge with your knee at about 90 degrees. Press into the ball of your right foot as you twist your torso and cross your left elbow to graze your right knee.

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Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start in a tabletop position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your knees below your hips. Tuck your toes in and, with your knees bent, kick them up toward the sky. Land back on top of the neutral table.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start in a tabletop position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your knees below your hips. Tuck your toes in and, with your knees bent, kick them up toward the sky. Land back on top of the neutral table.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Grab a jump rope with both hands. Swing the jump rope while jumping on it for 30 seconds or more. For an added challenge, play with different variations, such as hopping one foot at a time, high knees, butt kicks, or crossing your arms.

Representatives: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for three to five repetitions

How: Start standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Bend over to plant each palm under your shoulders as you jump your feet back to land on the board. To increase the intensity, you can lower your belly to the ground or land in a pushup. Then jump your legs to the front of the mat and come back up for one rep.

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