You’ve probably heard about cardio and how good it is for our health. It is arguably the most popular type of exercise due to the slew of health benefits that a person can get from doing it, and also because anyone can do a simple cardio workout even without investing on equipment.
Contrary to popular belief, cardio is not necessarily a long, slow distance activity like hiking, running, or biking. Anything that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe heavy is cardio, according to exercise physiologist Dr. Michael Bracko.
We need cardio in our life because it brings nothing but awesome things for our body. Among the numerous benefits of cardio exercise are weight control, stress reduction, increased muscle strength, and improved sleep.
Despite cardio’s reputation as an excellent type of exercise, some people never bother to try it out because they think it’s a daunting task that requires fancy equipment and takes almost an hour to finish. Well, they are wrong. Very wrong.
As I mentioned earlier, performing a successful cardio workout is possible without equipment like an elliptical trainer or a treadmill. In addition to that, even just 15 to 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio is good for your body. In fact, you can do a variety of effective cardio workouts right now at home and your body would still get to enjoy the benefits the popular exercise has to offer – all without needed any equipment. Check out some of them below:
- Jumping Jacks
This classic cardiovascular exercise can burn around 100 calories when done for 10 minutes straight. To do a jumping jack, repeatedly jump in the air as high as you can with your legs spread out a little wider than your shoulders, and your arms circling overhead simultaneously. Keep on repeating until you finish one set of 30 reps. With no equipment needed, this workout can be performed at any spot in your home that has enough space for you and your slightly spread out legs when you jump. Also, if you want to utilize their effectiveness at burning calories and make the most out of your at-home workout, you can integrate jumping jacks into a circuit training, such as a cardio circuit or a strength circuit.
2. Squat Jumps
Similar to jumping jacks, squat jumps can be done as a solo workout or as part of a circuit training. This amazing cardio exercise will increase power in the legs, improve the circulation levels, raise the heart rate, and burn calories. Due to the high intensity and high impact nature of this exercise, a strong heart and a good pair of knees are needed before you even consider to do it. To do squat jumps, start out in a squat position, jump up as high as you can, and then land back on the floor in a squat. This exercise is so easy to do that you can probably perform it where you are right now.
Considered a killer cardio workout by CrossFit pros and fitness enthusiasts alike, burpees are capable of burning 100 calories or more in just 10 minutes. Due to the hardcore nature of this workout, anyone weak-willed shouldn’t even dare to try it. With no equipment necessary and their power to burn lots of calories, burpees are definitely one of the best cardio workouts to do at home. To do a burpee, squat to the floor, put the feet to a plank position, and then jump forward in the air. As for how many sets or reps of burpees you should in a workout, pace yourself accordingly by starting slow and gradually working your way up. Again, burpees are a killer cardio workout, so no need to feel embarrassed if you can only do it for a short amount of time or repetitions.