Cardio Exercise at Home
An essential component of any effective workout regimen, cardio can help you burn calories, prevent heart disease, lower your resting heart rate, reduce your stress levels, and much more. Cardio strengthens your cardiovascular system (lungs, heart, and blood vessels) through a long, steady session of exercise at low to moderate intensity. Although many cardio exercises can be completed outside – hiking, rowing, swimming, roller blading – you don’t need the great outdoors to exercise effectively. With the right equipment, you can get your heart racing and your body moving in the comfort of your own home. If you want to try cardio exercise at home, use the tips and suggestions below for help.
Running is perhaps the most well-known example of cardio. It’s effective, it’s flexible, and we all know how to do it (though you may want to improve your form and technique if you plan to run regularly). When a lack of sunlight, extreme weather, or a tight schedule keep you from running on your favorite trails, run indoors with a treadmill. For an effective and strenuous indoor run, do intervals, gradually increase your speed, raise the incline, and don’t hold onto the handles. A treadmill is a classic, reliable, and adaptable piece of equipment – perfect for cardio exercise at home.
Bicycling provides a great cardio workout and, unlike running, it minimizes the pressure placed on your joints. If you’re riding outside, you will need a very long stretch of road or trail, but in your home, all you need is an exercise bike. To improve your bicycling workout, utilize high-intensity intervals, simulate hills using high resistance and a lower cadence, and build endurance by exercising for longer periods (at least 60 minutes is best).
Elliptical machines provide a unique workout similar to climbing, walking, or running. However, because your feet remain on the pedals, ellipticals eliminate excessive pressure to the joints and reduce your risk of impact injuries. To be sure that your workout isn’t boring or ineffective, be sure to use your elliptical machine properly. Use the handles to engage your upper body, vary your routine to prevent a fitness plateau, don’t get distracted by a TV or book, and use intervals that employ higher levels of resistance and speed.
Exercise with Small Accessories
You don’t need to buy hefty, high-priced gym equipment to get a great cardio workout. For example, a simple jump rope can provide an excellent cardio workout whether you’re at home or traveling. In addition, strength-training equipment like dumbbells and medicine balls can be incorporated into a high-speed, high-intensity cardio routine. You can heighten the intensity of many of the bodyweight exercises listed below (lunges, squats, punches) by performing them with dumbbells or medicine balls. Focus on your technique and placement (perhaps working with a personal trainer at first) to ensure the safety and success of your workout. Try incorporating the following fitness accessories into your routine:
- Jump rope
- Stability balls
- Medicine balls
- Kettle bells
- Olympic plates
Although fitness equipment can enhance and amplify your workout, you only need your body to perform cardio at home. Using your own bodyweight and the right moves, you can get your heart pumping and challenge a variety of muscles. Try to use non-competing muscle groups so that you don’t fatigue quickly. For example, you could do a set of squats followed by push-ups. In addition, be sure to include exercises that challenge your balance, strength, range of motion, and coordination. Some great examples of no-equipment exercises include the following activities:
- Jumping jacks
- High knees
- Leg raises
- Arm circles
- Mountain climbers
Experts recommend that you exercise moderately at least 150 minutes per week or vigorously 75 minutes per week to improve your cardiovascular health (source). You might wish to break this up into 30 minutes of cardio five times a week. Our bodies crave novelty, so vary your workout to engage different parts of your body. You could do this by switching between exercises (running one day, bicycling the next) or increasing your workout’s frequency, intensity, or length.
When you exercise in a gym or outdoors, it’s easy to wriggle out of your workout by blaming the weather, the sun, the traffic, or your car. To ensure that you’re able to fit in your cardio workout each week, invest in some home fitness equipment. By purchasing a treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical machine, and/or fitness accessories, you can eliminate your excuses and make certain that you have time for your cardio sessions each week.
If you want to enjoy cardio exercise at home, Fitness Gallery is here to help. We handpick each piece of fitness equipment sold in our stores, so you know that you’re getting high-quality products at a great value. Plus, we have top-of-the-line used equipment for those on a budget. To learn more, please visit our online store, or stop by our showrooms in Denver (CO) or Highlands Ranch (CO). Our knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect equipment for your fitness goals.