Home cardio exercises
You can use home cardio exercises like balance drills, walking / jogging, cardio-strengthening routines or vigorous play and work activities in your weekly routine to help you achieve good physical fitness. It’s not necessary to follow a set routine to get in shape, nor do you need to inconvenience yourself by traveling away from home just to exercise.
Gradually build up to 30-45 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise and you’ll achieve the level of fitness proven to reduce health risks substantially.
You can follow an exercise routine with a blend of dynamic balance drills. For example, warm up with a brisk walk or by jogging in place and then follow a routine of balance or sports drills.
Balance drills: High knees, side to side, backpedalling, cross over steps
Sports drills: Hopping, jumping, leaping, the above movements at a faster pace
Pace yourself according to your ability level. To try a workout with these moves, see the article on
high intensity interval training.
Beginners' and intermediate routines are included.
WALKING OR JOGGING
Try a walk in your neighborhood at home or work, or maybe there’s a nice park in your area on the commute home. Work your way up to a brisk pace for greater calorie burn and better health benefits. When pressed for time, you can of course park further away from the shopping center to fit in some exercise while you’re out.
To improve your fitness, add 2-3 minutes per week to your walk time. Find a hilly route to get your heart rate up. Interval training is helpful as well. For 1 minute out of every 5 minutes of your walk, pick up your pace to a very fast walk, or even a jog.
Keep yourself moving with a moderate to vigorous effort, and then sweeping, cleaning, scrubbing and yard work can be a great way to develop your conditioning. Just plan out your work so you can go from one activity to the next without a break, and you’ll get an exercise benefit from your chores. Be safe and pace yourself, especially when using heavy or sharp equipment.
CHILDREN AND PETS
If you have children of any age, all types of play can get your heart, lungs and muscles working. Kids love to run, wrestle and to be picked up, and if nothing else, your dog would appreciate a nice walk in the neighborhood. Be sure to pace yourself. Maintain at least a moderate effort level for best exercise benefits.
Note: The article on
compares exercise intensity and calories burned for all types of home cardio exercises.
Follow a strengthening program with minimal rest break between exercises to increase your cardio benefits. This method works the best when you are alternating between different muscle groups (upper body, lower body). Slow your pace and take longer rest breaks as needed if too much fatigue sets in.
You can also combine any of the above activities into a workout. For example, if you only have a few minutes of yard work to do, add on a brisk walk, 5 minutes of calisthenics exercises and a set of push ups. Any combination of activities will work as long as you keep your heart, lungs and muscles working.
While you could purchase a treadmill, join a gym, or get personal training sessions, it’s not a requirement for you to improve your aerobic conditioning. Use these home cardio exercises to achieve physical fitness without a major lifestyle change.
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