Cardio exercises, or also called cardio, are exercises that increase a person’s heart rate. Cardio exercise can be beneficial for people who want to reach or maintain a moderate weight or stay healthy.
An adult should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week.
This article in hand covers some of the best cardio exercises anyone can do at home or in the gym. It also discusses the benefits of cardio exercises.
Benefits of cardio exercise
Cardio exercise can have many beneficial effects on the body. In a 2015 study, people who completed a 4-week cardio exercise program had:
- An increased sense of well-being
- Reduction in psychological distress
- Reduction in perceived stress
- Less emotional exhaustion
Cardio exercise may also be beneficial for people who want to lose weight. Some researchers found that participants who attended a “Zumba” class for 8 weeks had statistically significant effects on:Related articles
- Increased body weight loss
- Reducing fat mass in the body
- Improve BMI
- Low fat content
The best home cardio exercises
There are many cardio exercises you can do to achieve or maintain a moderate weight, or improve overall health. Before any exercise, you should take some time to warm up your muscles in order to avoid the risk of injury.
All exercises that we recommend in this section are instructions only. A person wanting to start any new exercise should do so gently and at his or her own pace.
Once you become familiar with some form of cardio training, you can try increasing the intensity, resistance, volume, duration, or style to make the exercise more difficult.
Rope jumping is one of the best cardio exercises. Jumping rope strengthens the calf muscles and improves the flexibility of surrounding tendons and connective tissue. Jumping rope also uses the arm muscles , as well as the abdominal muscles .
- Grip the handles of the jump rope gently and loosely.
- Relax the shoulders and keep the elbows close to the torso.
- Gently bend the knees.
- Rotate the rope from the wrist and maintain a smooth arc as the rope passes over the top.
- Jump low to reduce the impact on the knees and ankles.
It is best to do 15 minutes of skipping exercises as part of a person’s daily moderate intensity exercise.
The sling exercise includes the entire body and is a good way to work out the cardio, lungs, and muscles in one exercise.
- Stand up straight, extend your arms to the sides and legs wide.
- Jump with arms back to the sides of the body and legs back to the midline.
- Jump again, extend arms and legs.
- Repeat the exercise.
The burpee is a high intensity exercise in which you use the arms, legs and core.
- From a standing position, descend into a squatting position.
- Instead of jumping back, switch to plank position.
- Do the pushup, then return to a standing position.
- Repeat as many times as possible, take a break, and then repeat the group again.
- To increase the intensity, try jumping from squatting to a standing position. To make it easier, remove the chest compress stage.
Running in place
When running around, a person moves their body as if they are running, but they stay in one place.
A 2015 study found that running in place can reduce muscle fatigue , improve the ability to do aerobic exercise, as well as strengthen muscles and improve body flexibility
Running around can be part of an interval workout. This is where a person completes repeating different exercises at a specific time. Here is an example of an interval exercise involving running in place:
Run around for two minutes.
Increase the speed for a minute.
Rest for a minute.
Jog in place for 3 minutes.
Rest for a minute.
Squat jumps incorporate the same movements as normal squatting , with the addition of jumping. This exercise targets the buttocks, thighs, and hamstrings. Squatting also helps increase flexibility in the knee, hip, and ankle joints.
- Stand with your feet apart and your arms spread out at either side of your body.
- Squat down until the knees are at a 90-degree angle with the arms swinging back.
- Swing forward and jump.
- Repeat the exercise several times.
High-intensity cardio or high-intensity exercise (HIIT) is a series of exercises that involve short, high-intensity bursts, divided by less-intensity recovery periods. HIIT training uses the body’s energy reserves, which increases metabolism and burn calories.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
A person should do 1 minute of high-intensity exercise for every 2 or 3 minutes of recovery time. At home, a person may choose to do intense exercises, such as jogging or burpees, followed by light jogging immediately.
The best cardio training in the gym
If you choose to do cardio exercises in the gym, you can consider the following exercises:
The elliptical device
The elliptical machine can provide the benefits of cardio exercise from walking or running, while minimizing the impact on a person’s joints. This device is useful for those who suffer from joint problems, such as arthritis.
The stairs device strengthens the lower body. The person using the stairs machine should ensure that they maintain good posture throughout the workout.
It may take some time to build stamina with the stairs device, so a person should take their time and focus on increasing the duration of the sets.
An exercise bike is beneficial for people with joint problems, as it places less stress on the joints compared to other cardio machines. The exercise bike targets the leg muscles, and a person can choose their speed.
The person using the treadmill mainly functions but with less impact on their joints. The treadmill can also be easily adjusted according to each person’s needs.
The person using the treadmill should start at a pace that matches their fitness level.
The rowing machine provides a full body workout. In addition, it has the advantage of being free of impact and not carrying weight.
- Sit in the seat and attach the feet to the platform.
- Bend your legs and pull the knees.
- Keep your arms straight and hold the contraction with both hands.
- Push onto the platform with the feet while moving the body up and arms back.
- Extend the legs fully, then pull the arms back and bend the knees.
Swimming has many health benefits, including:
- Increased heart rate and less stress on the body
- Build endurance, muscle strength and cardio fitness
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Maintaining the health of the heart and lungs
Cardio training in the pool can include completing the lengths. A person should build up their swimming strength at a pace that suits their needs.
Top tips for getting the most out of cardio exercise
Anyone wanting to get the most out of cardio training can try the following:
- Warm up before every exercise session
- Giving your body time to recover between workouts
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Maintain a weekly exercise routine
- Set realistic goals
- Start slowly, and build strength and stamina gradually
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There are many cardio exercises available for someone who wants to reach or maintain a moderate weight or become healthier.
The person must be aware of their limits and make sure not to push themselves away. If anyone has any concerns about an exercise routine, they should speak with a doctor.
It is important to note that achieving good health and reaching or maintaining a moderate weight requires a combination of a balanced diet with regular exercise.