Some people love going to the gym for hours at a time, some dread it. Other refuse to go to the gym and prefer to workout at home. Performing cardio workouts at home can be fun and just as beneficial as going to the gym. The problem most people run into when doing cardio at home is the lack of gym equipment and fitness knowledge to see consistent results. Lets look at cardio in a different way. What are we actually trying to do when performing a cardio workout? Elevated heart rate for an extended period of time, that’s the simplest form of cardio. So now let’s look at some ways we can do this at home.
Cardio workouts at home can be very simple and very complex. They can be as simple as walking up and down the stairs for 5 or 10 minutes, or as complex as interval training with squat jumps, burpees and running in place for 20 minutes. Your main focus when performing cardio at home, is just to do something. The variety of movements to perform is endless, but as long as your doing something is better than doing nothing. Your body burns almost twice as many calories standing as is does sitting. It also burn twice as many calories walking as it does standing. So just get up and move. The higher your intensity the more calories your going to burn. You also need to be careful to not get stuck in a rut, doing the same exercises all the time. Your body will adapt to a specific movement pattern after about 4-5 weeks. So that 10 minutes of up and down the stairs works great for a month, but then your body has adapted to that movement and is much more efficient at performing it. So, it doesn’t take as many calories to perform that exercise. If you switch up your home cardio workout every couple weeks, every week or even every day, your body is less likely to adapt. This is were the variety of your workout comes in. Vary the length of your runs. One day run for 20 minutes, the next day run for 30 minutes. Use interval training. Run for 5 minutes then stop and perform 10 burpees then continue running, repeating the sequence until you’ve ran for 20 minutes. As long as your heart rate is elevated for an extended period of time you’re doing cardio training. So, use your imagination and come up with a few cardio workouts of your own.
Cardio workouts are just having an elevated heart rate for an extended period of time. It doesn’t matter how you get the elevated heart rate, it just matters that you have one. Make sure to vary your home cardio workouts so your body doesn’t adapt to the workouts. Use different running lengths and durations as well as interval training to mix things up. Have fun with it. Working out doesn’t have to be miserable. Use your imagination to find fun ways to elevate that heart rate and burn those calories and increase that cardiovascular endurance.[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Josh Morrison is the owner of Optimum Performance Training in Mt Zion, IL. He has a M.S. in Performance Enhancement, B.A. in Physical Education, certified as an NASM-PES, NASE-CSSE, NASM-CPT, NESTA-CPT, Human Kinetics-Advanced Exercise Nutrition and APEX-FitPro. Josh played football at Blackburn College as a four year starting defensive back and has been training for over 8 years. With his wealth of experience and education Josh can deal with any fitness, nutrition and performance needs.[/stextbox]