Cardio At Home: Our Top Exercises To Burn Fat And Gain Muscle

Cardiovascular workouts are crucial for maintaining good health and well-being. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend endless hours at the gym to improve your cardiovascular health and lose weight. It’s possible to perform a productive cardio workout at home, even if you don’t have much room or equipment available.

Below are our top picks for you to try out at home! 

Is cardio good for me? 

Aerobic or cardio exercise involves repetitive contractions of large muscle groups to increase heart rate. It is considered the most beneficial exercise for improving cardiovascular health, including the heart and blood vessels. Consistent cardio workouts can provide several benefits, such as:

  • Enhancing the strength of your heart and blood vessels. (1)
  • Improving oxygen flow throughout your body.
  • Reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. (2)
  • You are minimizing the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and some types of cancer. (3)

What is the best cardio workout? 

There isn’t a single miracle approach to exercising, nor is there only one correct way to do it. You can try cross-training, which entails utilizing various machines at the gym for 30 minutes. You can break it into three 10-minute intervals to maintain interest and make my workout more diverse.

Achieving the heart-healthy advantages of cardio exercise doesn’t necessarily require the same workout regimen. What’s crucial is that you engage in physical activity consistently. One approach to make it more manageable is to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Just as we have a pattern for personal hygiene, such as brushing our teeth and showering, exercise should also be a part of that list. Regular cardio exercise can help maintain your heart’s function and keep it young.

How often should I do cardio? 

In general, it’s recommended that you:

  • Engage in moderate-intensity cardio activity for a minimum of 30 minutes at least five days per week (totaling 150 minutes per week).
  • Participate in at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days per week (totaling 75 minutes per week).
  • If weight loss is your goal, consider incorporating a few days of moderate activity and two days of hard aerobic exercise or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your routine.

Will cardio help with losing weight? 

To achieve weight loss, burning calories and building muscle mass are essential. Thus, it’s recommended to incorporate both cardio and strength training into your exercise routine for maximum benefits. However, before starting any exercise program, obtaining clearance from your doctor is a choice you can make to feel safer. 

Cardio exercises are significant in calorie burning and crucial for weight loss. The more frequently you exercise, the more calories you burn. If your goal is weight loss, engaging in cardio activities for a minimum of five days per week is recommended. Despite popular belief, aerobic exercise can be performed seven days a week. If the thought of achieving this goal seems overwhelming, start gradually. Remember, any activity is better than none, so every minute counts. If you need help finding time for exercise, try breaking it up into smaller increments. For instance, walking for 10 minutes every three hours can accumulate 60 minutes throughout the day. (4)

Our top picks for 2023 

Skipping/Jump rope:

Do you have cherished recollections of skipping rope during your childhood? You can reintroduce this activity into your fitness regimen by jumping rope at home. Jumping rope is widely regarded as one of the best cardiovascular exercises and is utilized for cross-training by numerous athletes. You can perform this exercise almost anywhere, using an inexpensive jump rope that can be purchased at various retailers, making it a superb cardiovascular workout to do at home. By jumping rope for a mere 20 minutes, you can burn approximately 220 calories. It’s important to work up to the full 20 minutes gradually; otherwise, you may burn out. 

Burpees:

Although CrossFit experts may fear Burpees, they undoubtedly offer a phenomenal cardiovascular workout in a brief period. They require no equipment or significant space, so they’re ideal for performing cardio exercises at home. Switch between a plank position and leap upwards to execute a burpee. Ensure your hands are level with the ground and your back remains straight. In a mere 10 minutes, you can torch over 100 calories! We advise commencing leisurely and gradually working up to 10 minutes or more to avoid any potential injuries.

Squat jumps:

Squat jumps are another excellent cardiovascular exercise that can be performed independently or as a component of a cardio circuit. As the name suggests, you initiate the movement with a squat and then leap upwards, attempting to jump as high as possible before returning to the squatting position. As this exercise can tax your knees, particularly for beginners or those with knee injuries, it is essential to exercise caution.

Squat thrusts:

Squat thrusts offer an excellent low-impact substitute for full burpees. To perform them, begin in a plank position with your wrists and elbows positioned beneath your shoulders, your core contracted, and your legs fully extended. Next, bend your knees to hop your feet forward, landing outside your hands. Then, lift your chest and bring your hands together before your body, lowering yourself into a low squat position. To return to the starting position, reverse the movement. This constitutes one repetition. Keep performing for 30 to 60 seconds, then proceed immediately to your next exercise. Once you’ve finished all three or four exercises in your routine, take a break for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat the process for three to four sets.

Dancing: 

Consider dancing for a pleasurable approach to your home cardio workout! Playing upbeat music and moving your body will boost your heart rate and provide training for your cardiovascular system. Additionally, specific dance moves can help strengthen your muscles. To add structure to your dancing, browse free dance exercise videos on YouTube or Spotify! 

Mountain climbers: 

Mountain climbers are a great cardio exercise at home because they engage multiple muscle groups and require high energy output. They target the core, shoulders, triceps, and legs while increasing your heart and breathing rate. This makes them an effective way to burn calories and improve cardiovascular endurance. Additionally, mountain climbers can be modified to be low-impact, making them accessible for people of various fitness levels or those with joint pain. They can also be done in a small space, making them an excellent option for at-home workouts with limited room.

Jogging in one spot: 

You don’t have to leave your house or use a treadmill to reap the benefits of running. Jogging in place can provide many advantages, although doing it for an extended period might become tedious. Most individuals combine jogging with other activities to make it more engaging.

For a comprehensive workout routine, it’s best to incorporate various exercises, such as multiple rounds of the workouts mentioned above, for a solid 20 to 30-minute workout that can help you destroy the fat and build quality muscle. 

Kettlebell swings: 

Kettlebell swings are an excellent exercise for building strength and improving cardiovascular fitness. They work multiple muscle groups, including the core, glutes, hamstrings, and shoulders. The explosive movement involved in the swing gets the heart rate up and can burn many calories in a short amount of time. Kettlebell swings improve posture, balance, and coordination. They can be done at home with a single kettlebell, making them convenient and adequate exercise.

Do I need room to exercise at home? 

There is no need for a big home gym to get the most out of working out. You can exercise anywhere in your home. Choose a suitable spot based on the type of workout you plan to do, with little space required for strength training and around 6 feet for aerobics. Clear some furniture to make room if necessary. If you have a machine, face it towards a TV or a shelf with your laptop or tablet, and watch your favorite shows or movies to pass the time quickly.

How to stay motivated 

Staying motivated to work out at home can be challenging, but here are some tips to help you stay on track:

Set goals: Establish specific goals for yourself, such as running a certain distance or lifting a certain weight, and track your progress.

Create a routine: Develop a regular workout routine and stick to it. Try to exercise each day simultaneously to help build a habit.

Use technology: Many fitness apps, online videos, and virtual workout classes are available to help keep you motivated and accountable.

Get a workout buddy: Find a friend or family member who also wants to exercise and hold each other accountable.

Mix it up: Keep your workouts fun by trying new exercises or activities. This can help prevent boredom and keep you motivated.

Reward yourself: Set up a system of rewards for meeting your fitness goals, such as buying a new workout outfit or treating yourself to a healthy snack.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, cardiovascular workouts are crucial for maintaining good health and well-being. Consistent cardio workouts can provide several benefits, including enhancing the strength of your heart and blood vessels, improving oxygen flow throughout your body, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and minimizing the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and some types of cancer. It’s possible to perform a productive cardio workout at home, even if you don’t have much room or equipment available. We recommend incorporating various exercises such as skipping, burpees, squat jumps, squat thrusts, and dancing to achieve a healthy cardio workout routine. And remember to consult with your doctor when starting an exercise routine if you have any concerns. 

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