Cardio exercise is something I believe everyone should throw into their fitness routine. Why? Well, because the positive benefits are endless. Some of the benefits of cardio include: burning fat, scorching calories, temporary relief of depression and anxiety, reduces stress, builds a stronger heart, reduces your risk of serious health problems, improves your confidence and helps you sleep better. I am a cardio addict. That’s pretty much all I do these days. I love doing body weight exercises that get the heart pumping, sweat flowing and make me breathe heavy. Cardio has played a huge role in my fight against Cystic Fibrosis. Let’s put it this way, I’m almost 32 and still have normal lung function! Yes, I am ecstatic about it! Anyways, I’d like to share my top three cardio exercises I utilize at home. The only equipment you need is YOU. Let’s get to it!
This first move everyone knows. We have all done these since we were kids. They are the world famous jumping jacks. This is a simple plyometric movement that works your heart, lungs and muscles at the same time. The constant jumping is great for building leg strength, as well as, tightening your glutes. Jumping jacks also target your core and shoulder muscles. So, how do you perform a jumping jack? It’s simple. Start by standing tall with your feet together and hands to your side. Next, jump and spread your feet wider than your shoulders, as well as, bringing your arms up and over your head. After you have landed in this position, you will jump one more time and land in the starting position. You have just completed one jumping jack! I need to add, you CHOOSE your INTENSITY! If you want to make it more intense then go as fast as you can using good form. To make it less intense, you simply take your time with it and go at an easy pace. Now, jump away!
Another move I love to utilize at home is high knees. It’s an explosive exercise that engages the core, strengthens the muscles in the legs and glutes, as well as, improves your coordination and flexibility. High knees are similar to sprints while in the stationary position. The explosive movement of pushing your feet through the ground and arm pumping action spikes your heart rate and makes you SWEAT quickly. It’s a great exercise to utilize in your quick fat burning and calorie scorching workout. So, how do you perform high knees? Again, it’s simple. You will start by standing tall with your feet shoulder width and arms to your side. Next, simultaneously, you will raise your right knee towards your chest and your left arm will flex like you’re doing a hammer bicep curl. Then, as you lower your right leg and left arm back to the starting position, you will begin to raise your left knee towards your chest and flex your right arm as if you’re doing a hammer curl. You choose how fast and hard you want to go. This movement will continue until your time is up or reps are completed. You got this!
Last but not least, everyone’s favorite exercise of all time, burpees! Oh man do I love me some burpees. This exercise works everything from arms, to chest, to back, to quadriceps, to glutes, to hamstrings and even your core. That’s right, it’s a total body exercise and YOU should be doing it. This is one of the best exercises to utilize for fat burning, calorie scorching, muscle building and toning. If you start adding these into your fitness routine you will begin to see and feel the change quickly. So, how do you perform burpees? Let me explain. You need to start by standing tall with your feet shoulder width and arms to your sides. Next, sit into a squatted position with your weight on your heels and reach forward with your hands placing them on the ground in front of you. You will then kick your feet back and allow your stomach to be flat on the ground. After this, you will bring your feet back up and get into that squatted position, as well as, releasing your hands from the ground. Lastly, you will jump and explode in the air as high as you can. As always, you choose your INTENSITY. Have at it!
Get to Work
There you have it. These three cardio exercises will get your heart pumping, blood flowing and body looking good. Next time you do a workout at home or in the gym be sure to add these into your routine. You won’t regret it!