Working out from the comfort of your own home can be a real godsend, saving you on both travel time and costly gym memberships. Still, as appealing as it sounds, it can be tricky to work out effectively, especially if you’re not blessed with large living space — something that’s especially true for cardio workouts.
With a bit of creativity and know-how, it is possible to do an effective cardio workout at home. In fact, there’s a wide range of indoor cardio exercises that’ll do the trick in 30 minutes or less — plus, you’ll burn calories, strengthen muscles, and aid your weight loss or weight management goals. Keep reading and we’ll reveal all.
Below are some of the best cardio workouts to do at home — anytime, anywhere. Try these exercises in the morning (or whenever you have some free time), and you’ll be energized and empowered throughout your day. If you scroll down to the end, you’ll see we even threw in an 8fit-inspired cardio HIIT workout routine.
What is cardio exercise?
Cardio exercise, in essence, is a form of aerobic exercise that ups your heart rate, but intensity and length can vary depending on stamina and activity. Cardio activity gets our heart-rate up, as to pump more oxygen-rich blood all around our body and deep into your cells.
This helps improve stamina, reduce the risk of heart disease, build muscular endurance and eliminate toxins to name a handful of positive physiological effects.
The origins of the word cardio come from “cardiovascular” or “cardiorespiratory” training — which relates to our heart muscle and, just like any muscle you exercise, working it regularly will make it stronger.
Cardio helps with weight loss as it makes our muscles more efficient at consuming the available oxygen. So, as we become fitter, our muscles burn fuel more easily and we can then exercise longer and longer i.e. increase our stamina.
Best cardio workouts to do at home
Along with elements taken from HIIT training, the 8fit team put together some of our favorite cardio activities that’ll get your heart rate going — also demonstrating just how easy and effective it can be to do a cardio workout at home.
This all-in-one activity pushes you on every level. The rapid movements involved don’t just get you sweating and shedding those pounds, kickboxing also improves balance, coordination and even flexibility. In addition to all this, the stress relief it affords and the fact that you’re learning self-defense are pretty rad reasons to kickbox.
On top that, regular sessions can increase your energy levels. So why not try it first thing in the morning and channel your inner Rocky Balboa in front of the mirror?
It doesn’t get more fun than dancing, and while you’re having oodles of fun serving up some fierce dance moves, you’re getting in a whole-body workout that burns as many calories as jogging. Though running and cycling are great workouts, they only target a specific part of your body — your legs.
Also, as dance moves often require alternating between arms, legs, and glutes, the core is almost always engaged. Plus, few breaks means it’s one of the most fat-burning workouts around (now you know why dancers are so lean and toned). So, even if you don’t have the moves like Jagger, put that music on full blast and let loose!
Skipping rope is cheap, cheerful and calorie-burning! You probably remember this activity from your childhood, but how about giving it a go now? Jumping rope requires a lot of coordination and engages your arms, shoulders, back, quads, and abs at all times, and if you sneak in a few tricks, you can even target more muscles than that.
The exercise is best suited to a big living room or a small garden. Make sure to move any objects from the vicinity and do not try this near small children or pets. Oh, and watch out for light fixtures and ceiling fans!
Another great cardio workout at home and an exercise that burns a ton of calories while building muscle and power is stair-climbing. Pushing that body up against gravity means you work on those legs in a functional way.
Which doesn’t have the same potentially damaging impact on your knees as running jogging? And since every staircase will eventually come to an end, you can rest as you walk back down – it’s a HIIT exercise in disguise. So get up those office building or house stairs now!
Now that you see how vital and beneficial these everyday activities can be. 🙂 🙂