The benefits of cardio exercises have been well documented, and they include more than just weight loss.
Getting your heart pumping and blood moving, has been attributed to a stronger heart and lungs as well as increased bone density.
Cardio workouts can also reduce stress levels and contribute to a positive attitude and mindset – not to mention better sleep and increased energy levels.
Whether your goal is weight loss, better fitness or endurance, or stress relief, including cardio exercises into your workout routine will help you achieve your goals faster and smarter.
How often should you do cardio Exercises?
Make cardio a part of your fitness routine and commit to doing cardio exercises four or more times a week. If you do cardio regularly, you can stop stressing about the occasional binge fest, knowing that you’re making an effort to look after your body and mind.
A morning workout may change your outlook and help you start your day with boundless energy and “can-do” approach.
If you’re not one of the people who struggle with the snooze button every morning, why not set the alarm for a few minutes earlier to get a 20-30-minute cardio workout in first thing in the morning.
One of the biggest benefits of working out in the morning is that you will no longer need to worry about squeezing in a workout session after work when all you can think about is flaking out on the couch.
Easy cardio exercises You can do At Home
Lunges are a great way to strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, quads and claves.
Try to add weights once you have perfected your lunge and can complete reps on both legs without getting the wobbles.
To master the perfect lunge, channel your inner peacock!!
How to do a lunge:
- Begin by standing tall with your chest lifted and your chin up, nice and straight.
- Your feet should be hip width apart before taking a step forward with your preferred leg.
- Lower your body and ensure that your front knee is over the top of your shoe.
- Bend your back knee down so it is straight and pointing towards the floor while you balance on the back toes.
- Push back to the starting position from your front heel for one rep.
- Repeat on the same leg with 10 lunges per set before alternating.
- Try to complete 10 reps per leg for 3 sets at a time.
2. Jump Squats
Jump squats are great cardio exercises that improve core strength and work towards toning calves, glutes, hamstrings and quads.
For an upper body workout, include bringing an arm swing into the routine.
How to do a jump squat:
- Stand with your feet, shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body and bend your knees squatting down as low as you can.
- Pause to stabilise your position.
- When comfortable launch your body up explosively into a jump.
- Land with as much control as possible into the same squat position for one rep.
- Do 2–3 sets of 15 repetitions.
The burpee is the ultimate full-body cardio exercise that burns plenty of calories, builds strength and will have you panting and sweating in no time.
How to do a burpee:
- Stand tall with your feet, shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down bending your knees placing your hands flat on the floor in front of you.
- Transfer your weight to your hands and push and jump your feet back.
- You should now be in a push up position with your back nice and straight.
- Complete a push up by lowering your body to the floor.
- Push up from your hands and when on the balls of your feet, jump forward so your feet are back to the original position.
- At that point reach up straight with your arms and jump up.
- Land back to your feet shoulder-width apart for one rep.
- Complete 10 reps for one set and attempt to complete 2–3 sets.
4. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are an excellent way to engage all the major muscles in your body and get your heart rate pumping.
How to do mountain climbers:
- Assume the position of a push up or plank.
- With arms and legs straight and long.
- Engage your core and bring one knee into your chest and out again, now perform the same action with your opposite leg for one rep.
- Alternate legs bringing in your knees as if running into your chest.
- Keep your upper body nice and straight.
- Complete 20 reps for one set and attempt 3 sets as part of your workout.
5. Jump Rope
Jumping rope can improve your fitness level, burn heaps of calories and provide you with a full body work out. Plus, it’s super fun!
How to jump rope:
- Put the jump rope behind you.
- Position your arms close to your sides with your elbows tight to the body.
- Stand with your feet close together with your weight on the balls of your feet.
- Jump softly on the balls of your feet – ensuring your heels never touch the ground.
- Use your wrists to control the rope bring it over and around.
- Work on achieving the rhythm that times your jump motion with the rope, allowing for the rope to go over your head in front of your body, under your jump and back around to the starting position, for one rep.
- Try to do continually for one minute, without stopping and incorporate 5 x 1 minute jump rope sessions within your work out.
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.