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In recent times, obesity has turned out to be an epidemic in developed and developing countries alike. Our unhealthy lifestyle with over-dependence on harmful processed and packed foods, and lack of physical activity is to blame. It is high time to take care of our health and control the reins by performing exercises such as cardio and yoga for weight loss as well as a toned body. Losing one pound of fat requires burning of 3500 calories, which 30 minutes of cardio exercise on a daily basis can help you achieve.
Why are Cardiovascular Exercises Important for Health?
Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercises, forms an integral part of any fitness plan that helps in increasing heart rate and boosting blood flow throughout the body, which is necessary for increasing energy and burning calories.
Improved Heart Health
Just like any other muscle, the heart also needs proper working out for functioning effectively. Daily cardio workout helps in increasing the heart rate and flow of blood through the arteries and veins, thus strengthening the heart muscles.
High cardio workouts on a daily basis help in pumping up the metabolism of the body that in turn speeds up the process of burning calories. And it continues to work when the body is in a state of rest or while we are sleeping.
Promoting Weight Loss
30 Minutes to one hour of cardio workout on a daily basis can help in getting rid of fat and help you get a slimmer waistline and toned legs. Despite the hype about spot reduction, intense cardio workout is the best long term way of fighting the flab and staying in shape permanently.
Cardio exercise is extremely beneficial for those suffering from type 2 diabetes. Intense cardiovascular workouts help in improving the muscle’s ability to absorb and utilize glucose from the blood stream. It prevents sudden fluctuation in blood glucose level which is extremely harmful to diabetic patients.
Regular cardio workouts are the basis of graceful aging because it helps in increasing strength, flexibility and balance and thus reduces the risk of injuries. It also helps in protecting and improving heart health and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart attack.
8 Best Cardio Workouts at Home
It is not necessary to run to the gym every day to keep yourself fit and healthy. These inexpensive and creative cardio exercises can be done in your living room or bedroom and helps in toning the body by burning calories.
Jumping rope is one of the age-old inexpensive workouts at home that helps in losing up to 220 calories in 20 minutes. It is undoubtedly one of the best cardio workouts (5 Best Cardio Workouts to Lose Weight) that can be practiced anywhere in the house or even when you are traveling. It helps in shaping the muscles of the lower body, butt and legs so that you can achieve that enviable figure.
This is an incredible heart workout as well because it boosts the heart rate and improves cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart muscles, and improving blood flow through arteries and veins. All you will need is a pair of good sports shoes and a jumping rope. Beginners might feel a bit breathless and therefore, it is best to continue it for 3 to 5 minutes at a stretch then slowly increase the time as the body adapts to the exercise. You can bring variation by jumping with closed feet, alternate feet and high knees.
Spot jogging is by far the easiest daily cardio workout that can be practiced in the luxury of your living room if you don’t feel like hitting the gym. It is a hassle-free exercise that can be squeezed into your busy schedule if you have a lack of time. 30 Minutes of spot jogging can burn up to 270 calories, and it also helps keep cardiac problems at bay by improving heart health. This training must be included in the list of 5 minutes fat burning workouts that actually work.
It addition, it tones the leg muscles, boosts endurance and strength and helps in increasing lean muscle mass so that you can have a ripped body. The equipment needed for this activity is just a pair of good sports shoes. Begin with a light jog by hopping from one foot to another and give your body time to warm up, now gradually increase the intensity and rise up your knees as much as possible and keep your hands engaged by moving them with the rhythm of the jog. Beginners might feel out of breath, and it is best to jog for 3 to 5 minutes at a stretch, catch your breath and then continue.
Squat Jumps are a primary fat burning plyometric exercise included in almost all high cardio workouts that help in increasing strength. It helps in toning the leg muscles such as hamstrings, quadriceps and calves and promotes the development of lean muscle mass which is also the best way of burning fat. For every pound of additional muscle gained, the body burns up to 70 calories each day. It helps in toning the back muscles and abs so that you can get rid of a bulging tummy and get amazing flat abs. It prevents sports injuries, mobility and balance which is crucial as we get older.
The only equipment you will need for this exercise is a pair of good sports shoes. Lower your body to a standard squat position. Keep your feet shoulder width apart. Now, instead of raising your body up slowly, jump up as high as you can, keeping your core engaged and return to a squat position. This makes one repetition. Repeat this exercise back to back for 15 to 20 jumps at a stretch, give it a break and again to the same 3 to 4 times with 20 jumps in each set.
The pendulum is a lesser known exercise that can be included in the list of cardio home workouts because it helps in raising the heart rate and promotes faster calorie burn. Being a whole body workout, it helps tone the entire body and is a simple exercise to keep fit (12 Simple exercises to keep fit) and increase flexibility. In addition, it also helps in improving balance and posture. Although it targets the abs, butt and legs, it is beneficial for toning the upper body as well.
Bring your body to a squat position by keeping your feet shoulder width apart and placing both your hands on the waist. Now, maintaining the balance of your right foot, lift the left leg and bend it behind you so that it doesn’t touch the ground and bring your left hand forward so that it touches the tip of the right toes. Hold this posture for 10 seconds and return to the first position and do the same with the other foot. This makes one repetition. Do 15 to 20 repetitions at a stretch.
Just like calisthenic exercises, the side lunge helps in toning the quadriceps, butt, hamstrings and abdomen by working out and stretching the muscles and tissues. It is one of the best cardio workouts at home that not only improves balance and posture, but also helps in increasing flexibility. It makes the body more functional and improves mobility that is extremely essential for older adults. And last but not the least, this movement also helps in improving core stability.
Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and your hands at your waist. Now, lower your body sideways to the right by bending your right knee but make sure that your right knee never crosses the right foot. Push your body up and return to the starting position, bend your left knee and lower your body sideways to the left making sure that your left knee does no cross beyond the left foot. Push your body up and return to the starting position. This makes one repetition. Perform it 10 times at a stretch.
Jumping jacks is a high impact cardio workout that helps in working the entire body at the same time. 10 minutes of jumping jacks at a stretch can help in burning up to 100 calories. It helps in boosting the heart rate and metabolism which in turn promotes calorie burning. No doubt, jumping jacks holds a prominent place in aerobics and cross training workouts. It helps in strengthening and toning the leg muscles such as glutes, calves and deltoids, reduces belly fat and is the perfect exercise to lose arm fat. In addition, it helps in improving cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart muscles.
It is important to wear good sports shoes before doing jumping jacks because it is a high-impact exercise that can have an impact on the joints. Stand straight with feet together and arms by your side. Now, jump in the air by spreading your legs out and raising your arms above your head and clap and land and jump again instantly. Repeat it 20 to 30 times at a stretch that forms 1 set. Do 4 to 5 sets with a gap of 30 seconds in between.
Burpees are an incredible cardio exercise that helps in burning almost 100 calories in 10 minutes, but is extremely difficult and hated by gym goers. It is a full-body workout that combines push-ups and squat jumps. It helps in improving strength and increasing lean muscle mass and works a large number of muscles at a time, thus increasing calorie expenditure. The best thing about burpees is that, it continues to burn calories for several hours after you have completed your exercise regime.
Stand straight with your legs a little less than hips width apart, lower your body to a squat position with your hands on the ground, move your feet back and come to the push up position. Do a push up, jump back to the squat position and jump up to the starting position. This entire series makes 1 repetition. Repeat it 5 to 10 times at a stretch for best results. Beginners might face difficulty in repeating it 5 times at a stretch. Take your time, be patient and let your body adjust to the strenuous exercise, and you can increase the repetitions gradually.
The cross crawl is a simple cross-lateral exercise that helps in toning the abdomen and back muscles. The movements of this exercise are very similar to the action of walking and therefore, it is included in warm-up and cardio workouts. It helps in improving balance and co-ordination and enhances stamina and breathing. In addition, this exercise is also beneficial for improving brain functions and helps in boosting cognitive functions and concentration.
Begin in a standing position, keeping your feet slightly apart and your arms at your side. Now, raise your arms and bring your right leg up by bending the knee and bring your left elbow down so that it meets the knee. Return to the starting position and bring up your left knee, then bring you right elbow down so that they touch. This makes one repetition. Repeat the entire exercise as fast as you can for 20 to 30 repetitions at a stretch. Give it a break of a few seconds and repeat it again.
Include these effective cardio exercises in your workout regime and burn calories more quickly by boosting your metabolism.