As well as supporting heart health, adding cardio exercises into your workout regime will burn lots of calories, enhance brain function, improve sleep and just generally make you feel good.
Cardio is undoubtedly a necessity to anybody who wants to boost their overall health and support their strength training. Check out the suggestions below for heart-health-enhancing exercises you can do from home:
A powerhouse of an exercise that targets the entire body. The more energy you put into your burpees, the better the burn.
1. Stand tall, with a straight back and feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Crouch down with speed, placing your palms on the flood.
3. Jump your legs out behind you, landing in the press-up position.
4. Quickly bring your feet back towards your hands, then explosively jump upwards reaching your arms up to your ceiling as you do so.
5. Land on your feet and repeat!
Set a 3-minute timer and perform as many as you can in that time, increasing the time as your strength and skill improves. Want to make it harder? After step 3 add in a push-up!
Less taxing than burpees, but still heart-rate-raising. This seemingly simple exercise can really work up a sweat when you put your all into it.
1. Begin in the press-up position.
2. Keep one leg stationary, in a plank position, and bring the other knee up to your chest.
3. Return the raised leg to the original position.
4. Repeat the action with the other leg, and repeat.
Try setting a 30-second timer and completing as many as you can in that time, take a 30 seconds rest, and then repeat for 6 sets. As you get fitter you’ll be able to increase the time. Always ensure quality over quantity, making sure your form is precise.
A great way to combine cardio exercise into your existing strength training routine. Great for the glutes, quads, and your heart.
1. Start in a standard squat position, feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Squat down low.
3. Explode upwards, pushing up through your quads and glutes, and get as high as you can.
4. Land solidly on your feet, or in the squat position, and repeat.
We recommend starting off with 5 rounds of 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off. Squat jumps are great when completed with speed and power but never compromise on form.
An exercise that’s easily adaptable for different abilities. You’ll need a step, staircase, or sturdy box to complete this one.
1. Stand at the base of your staircase (or step, or sturdy box).
2. Lift up one foot, bring the knee-high and tap your toe on the step.
3. Bring that same foot back down to the starting position, while simultaneously repeating the action with the other foot.
4. You should never be standing still, keep your feet moving!
Set a timer and burst through as many as you can on, 1 minute of and 30 seconds off. Try to complete 3-5 sets. Adjust for your personal fitness level.
Want to make your least favorite exercise harder? We thought so! Jumping lunges are a great lower body exercise that will get your heart racing!
1. Stand in a basic lunge, with one leg bent in front of the other.
2. Engage your core, push off the bottom of both feet into a jump, switch the position of your feet in the air, and land again in a basic lunge.
3. Repeat this movement, continuing to alternate between your legs.
Prevent injury by focusing on your form - make sure your back leg is bent directly underneath your body and your front leg is bent at a 90-degree angle, at the knee and hip. Repeat 3 sets of 20 reps.
A bouncy, high-movement, cardiovascular exercise. It’s like jogging on the spot, but with extra-oomph.
1. Place your feet hip-width apart.
2. Lift your left knee up to your chest, and then lower again.
3. Repeat with the right knee.
4. Alternate legs with speed, ensuring that you do not falter on the height your knees are reaching.
Place your hands out in front of you and tap your knee as it bursts upwards, to make sure height is consistently achieved. Try 3 sets of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds of rest.
Running and cycling may be the cardio go-to's, but they aren’t the only ways to give your heart health a boost. These easy at-home exercises are also proof that a great workout can be achieved with no equipment and no gym membership!