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So does that mean that with at home cardio workouts, you're just sprinting around your house in circles? (Sounds kind of dangerous. )
Actually, running, swimming, and biking aren't the only examples of cardio exercise! All cardio really is, remember, is training in a way that's good for your heart BECAUSE it pumps lots of oxygen to your muscles. So anything that gets your heart rate up counts as cardio!
You may remember that cardio is also called aerobic exercise. If you've forgotten what that means: "aerobic" just means, "activity that causes you to consume more oxygen." This kicks your cardiovascular system into overdrive: your heart and lungs work hard to get oxygen pumping in the blood.
And just in case you read all that and thought, so I didn't learn anything, I already knew that cardio is supposed to make your heart and lungs strong, well, did you know that it's also good for you because it sustains aerobic bacteria in your system? These good bacteria break down bad bacteria from E.coli to strep!
Again, these workouts can be any moves that get your heart and lungs working and your blood pumping! The moves you're probably thinking of, now, are the stereotypical things like jumping jacks, jump rope, jogging in place…stuff like that. There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing these and they're super good for you, but I think it would be pretty boring to make those the only moves in your at home cardio workout!!
Instead, what I recommend is a cardio routine that uses your own body weight. Gravity is one way to get your heart pumping!!
And since I love Piyo so much, I'm going to be explaining this by using Piyo moves!
As you can see, what I'm doing in the picture above is a low lunge with a side stretch. Why not kick it up a notch, with the "Beast Kick Through"? In order to get there from what I was doing, all you have to do is put your leg back, and then you move from side to side like I was doing, kicking your legs. Here's a handy GIF to illustrate what I mean.
Now, I know at first, you might think this isn't much more fun than doing jumping jacks or anything else. But there are a lot of variations with squats that I think make them more interesting. You can do the goblet squat, which basically means you lift a kettlebell or dumbbell and then hold it stationary while doing squats. Or, you could do something called a split squat, which means you use a box or other stable item low to the ground (even the (Beachbody Step if you have that!). You bend one leg backward, so that the top of your foot is resting on the object, when you're standing…Then, you squat!
Even planks, which we usually think of as strength exercises and not cardio, can be turned into cardio with a quick alteration.
Take, for example, "mountain climbers"! All you do is plank, then quickly alternate pulling each knee to your chest. Kind of like running in place!