5 Fast and Easy Cardio Ideas at Home

This could be one of the best workout tools you own!

Cardio can be the toughest thing to fit into our schedules.  Schlepping to the gym or a fitness class can take as much time coming and going as the workout itself.  An easy run through the neighborhood might not seem so appealing if it's raining. So here's some quick and easy cardio ideas to do at home.  Yes, you'll break a sweat (you have to or it's not cardio!) but you can do them at home before you go to work. Jumping rope. Do 10 sets of jumping rope for 60 seconds.  As you improve, work up to 90 seconds.  It's amazing how quickly jumping rope can wind you.  It's a great boost for your metabolism. Stair step-ups. Walk quickly and safely up a flight of stairs and then quickly back down.  If you don't have that option you can just step up and down on one stair (or platform) to get a similar effect.  You'll work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves and also your core as you keep your balance.  Do at least 10 minutes, more if you have time. Walking/Running in place. Walking in place has actually spawned a whole category of fitness DVDs and music mixes.  Just find a patch of clear space and start lifting those knees.  Try to keep the height of the knees high and consistent, even as you fatigue.  If you're just starting an exercise program, this can actually be a great place to start.  As you get more conditioned you can try some of the other options. Shake your booty. Pop on some of your favorite peppy music and dance.  It's probably the most fun thing to do on the list and can burn calories if you really get your groove on.  It has the added benefit of being a great stress reliever. Fitness videos. There are hundreds of titles to purchase or you can get them free from your cable company (check their On Demand listings).  There is also a great variety to choose from on iTunes.  Look for one that fits your time constraints and give it a go.  Keeping pace with an instructor can keep you from cheating and can offer you good cues to ensure good form. There you go, some fast ideas to squeeze into your busy life.  If you've got any others, add 'em here.  All of them require only a pair of sneakers and your commitment.  Let me know how you do! Cheers, Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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8 Responses to 5 Fast and Easy Cardio Ideas at Home

  1. Karen January 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    When I am stuck behind my desk for work, I try to pace when I have to run phone calls. But AT&T’s service has been so awful lately, that when I find a spot with service, I have to freeze.

  2. Lisa Johnson January 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    LOL, good ol’ AT&T now they’re thwarting our efforts at fitness! perhaps air squats as Ferriss suggests in his book. :-)

  3. Karen January 14, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Oh my. I can’t even imagine what an air squat looks like. I guess I could do isometric holds or something? Butt flexing? Guess there’s more opportunity here than I thought.

  4. [email protected] Workouts January 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Hey Lisa, now you are talking my language! There is so much you can do at home for cardio! My favorite are challenges. For example, do 100 burpees in one exercise session and record how long it takes you. Then a few days later try again and try to beat your time of the previous attempt.

    And I’m hoping no one reading this thinks that 100 burpees won’t give you a killer cardio workout….

  5. Aidan January 27, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Two tips I live by are:
    i) Always get off a bus or a tram the stop before the one you really want to get off at (within reason of course ;-).
    ii) Never take an elevator when you can take a stairs (hotels, offices, malls….).

  6. Lisa Johnson January 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    excellent, easy tips Aidan, and their both eco-friendly too. :-)

  7. [email protected] August 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    stairs are great. even if you don’t have a house you can run the stairs in your apartment too.

  8. Lisa Johnson August 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Yep, and Mike I don’t have a house but I do have two flights of stairs to go up to get to my condo … works great. :)

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