It can be a little intimidating, and possibly dangerous, to go to the gym these days. That’s okay, you can get all the cardio exercise you can possibly need without leaving your home. You don’t even need any equipment.
You’ll remember many of these exercises from your elementary school gym class. They still work today.
Get a great cardio workout at home with these exercises:
- Running in place. You might not like it, but you know how to do it! Running in place can be a great way to elevate your heart rate without having to go to the gym or outside. It’s much more challenging if you don’t allow both feet to touch the ground at the same time but do whatever works for you.
- Squat Jumps. Anyone that can do these for any length of time is in great shape. Squat down until your knees are parallel to the floor and jump up. Repeat. Even a minute can be quite challenging.
- Jumping jacks. You remember these from gym class. These are one of the easier options. If you’re out of shape, this can be a great place to start. Even if you’re in better shape, it can be helpful to alternate an easier exercise with one that is more challenging.
- Dancing. This might be the most fun of all the options. All you need to do is turn on your favorite song and dance away. In fact, the music is optional. Just dance your little heart out.
- Skipping rope. Boxers do it. Children do it. It’s a great exercise for everyone that can jump high enough to clear the rope. This one can be difficult if you’re overweight or out of shape. It can also be relatively easy for those in great shape. Skipping rope is a great option for doing cardio at home.
- Burpees. Depending on your part of the country or your age, you might call these squat thrusts. The idea is simple. Squat down, kick your legs out behind you so that you’re in a push-up position, bring your legs back underneath you, and stand up. If you want more of a challenge, add in a pushup and jump when you stand up. There are plenty of videos on YouTube if you’re confused. This is a tough one.
- Aerobics. There are plenty of exercise programs you can stream for free on your TV or watch on your computer. Step aerobics, HIIT, boxing, cardio kickboxing, and countless others are all good candidates for a cardio workout. Just find the right intensity for your current level of fitness. If you’ve never breathed hard from a workout, you just haven’t found the right workout yet.
- Stairs. You don’t need a stair-climber machine or to live in a 20-story building. You can use whatever stairs you have at home. Even just a few steps are plenty. Walk, run, or carry some extra weight up and down the stairs. Boring? Maybe, but a little music can help. It won’t take long to realize that a few stairs can be more work than you thought.
- Calisthenics or lifting weights. These might not seem like cardio exercises, but if you eliminate the rest periods, your heart will be pounding. Try running in place for a minute, then immediately do as many pushups as you can, then do as many sit ups as you can, then as many squats as you can, and then take your pulse.
Whether you can’t afford a gym, or simply don’t want to go, there are plenty of ways to get a great workout at home. You don’t need a treadmill, elliptical trainer, or lap pool for cardio exercise. You can use nothing more than your body, a few stairs, or a piece of rope. You can get in great shape without leaving the safety of your home.