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!