When it comes to cardio exercises there is nothing like running or jogging, but most people seem to hate this particular physical activity. The chances of injury are extremely high in case of running and it results in high -impact on joints (knees and ankles), crushed toes and shin splints. But cardio is a necessary evil that is required to lose weight, maintain health BMI, improve cardiovascular health and stay healthy in general. But the boredom and monotony of cardio can be reduced by disguising it as a fun activity which you enjoy doing. Here are a few enjoyable cardio exercises that can replace running successfully.
SWEAT IS JUST FAT CRYING! Yes, and sweat you must, to incinerate the stubborn fat that holds on to you for dear life! But are you sweating the right way?
What is the most frustrating thing in the world? That you are working hard in the gym, but still not able to make any progress when it comes to burning fat! Chances are that you may not be doing the right cardio workout. So, what should you be doing? Well, this is just the write-up you need. A smart guide to burn those stubborn calories with plenty of HANDY TIPS!
What is a cardio workout?
You know that cardio workouts are great for weight loss. In fact, in a weight loss program, you will hear this word spoken innumerable times.
But what exactly is cardio and why is it regarded so wonderful for weight loss?
Cardio exercise is any kind of exercise that ups your heart rate. The truth is, our bodies were made to move. This movement not only helps the muscles to grow stronger but also makes the body more efficient and healthy.
Even your heart is a muscle, and if you work it more, it makes it stronger. The stronger your cardiovascular system, the more oxygen reaches the cells in your muscles.
This also helps your cells burn an insane amount of fat during both exercise and inactivity.
Cardio exercise activates large muscle movement over a certain time duration so that your heart rate increases to at least 50% of its maximum level. The American College of Sports Medicine advises at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity most days of the week.
What Supplements Would Work Well with your Cardio Plan?
Whenever you begin any new workout regimen, you have to consult your doctor and also ask him/her whether a certain supplement is right for you.
Thankfully, most of the supplements are safe. However, certain supplements might not suit certain people owing to their particular conditions, especially with certain fat burners. But if you are healthy, you can stick to the right dosage then you won’t be facing any problem. All set? Now let us check some of the supplements which you can try.
Whey protein is the best form of protein to consume either as a snack or post workout to help build muscle and a lean tissue. Whey helps you give the boost of energy prior to workouts. It also keeps you full for longer hours.
BCAA’s, or Branched Chain Amino Acids, are regarded as the building blocks of rebuilding muscle. It consists of three essential amino acids, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. These help in repairing muscle and also reducing muscle soreness after your workout.
Glutamine, or L-Glutamine, helps reduce muscle fatigue and soreness, and helps in the growth of human growth hormone when you work out.
Creatine has to be taken daily if you want to get shredded. It helps increase strength and endurance within the gym, and helps maintain the size when you are trying to lose body fat.
When to do Cardio?
Much as we like to think that there is a particular time to tie up your sneakers and jump into a cardio game, we are sorry but we beg to differ, there is no set time!
It varies from people to people. Some people find it difficult to get up in the morning and start from the word go. So, you aren’t a morning person and can’t work out early in the morning, then don’t, just listen to your body and exercise when you can.
So, are you doing cardio on an empty stomach?
Stop right there!
Cardio in the morning isn’t such a great idea after all.
Fat burn doesn’t occur while you are doing the cardio exercise, but about two hours after. So, instead of fat loss, you experience muscle loss.
Would you want to wage a war without the requisite ammunition? No, right? So, you have to fuel your body with something before you start exercising.
Have something light and nourishing and after 30-45 minutes, do your workout.
5 Awesome Benefits of Cardio Exercises
When it comes to losing weight and excess fat from the body, there is nothing like cardio exercises. But it also has other potent health benefits as well.
Improved Cardiovascular Health – The heart is made up of muscles and just like any other muscles the heart muscles have to be worked in order to make them stronger. Cardio exercises get your heart pumping at a faster rate and help to keep it a healthy state.
Boost Metabolism – This is yet another important benefit of doing cardio exercises on a regular basis. In increases the rate of various processes in the body which promotes calorie burn and leads to weight loss and makes it easy to maintain weight at a healthy level.
Speed Up Recovery – Moderate and low intensity cardio exercises can speed up recovery by flushing out some of the toxins and by -products that are created during strenuous weight-lifting sessions. It helps to supply more oxygen-rich blood to the muscles which reduces soreness and improves the repair and rebuilding process of the muscles and tissues.
Increase Bone Health – Osteoporosis is one of the leading bone disorders that are caused as a result of lost bone mass and it affects majority of aging women. Cardio exercises done on a daily basis helps to develop stronger bones and reduce the risk of broken hips and joints.
Improve Sleep – Sleeping disorders and insomnia is considered one of the most prevalent disorders around the world and more and more people are relying on prescription sleeping pills and tranquilizers in order to fall asleep and stay asleep. But research shows that doing cardio exercises 3 to 4 times a week can help you to fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
10 Useful Cardio Exercise for People Who Hate Running
Although avid runners could swear by the amazing health benefits of running, but the common public in general seems to hate it because of the pain, fatigue, sweat and exhaustion it involves. Therefore, we have brought about a list of the best cardio exercises that stand as fun-filled substitutes for running.
By now, almost all of you must have heard about High Intensity Interval Training and its benefits as one of the best cardio exercises. HIIT is a quick and effective cardio workout that shows maximum result within very less time and it works better than normal cardio because it increases both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning fat at the same time. HIIT training combines alternated moderate intensity intervals and high intensity intervals with short periods of rest in between. You must include general warm-up and flexibly exercises in your routine before every HIIT session. A sample HIIT circuit with repetitions is as follows:
- Lunges – 10 reps per leg
- Side Lunges – 10 reps on each side
- Toe Touches -15 reps
- Butt Kicks – 25 yards
- High Knee Drill – 25 yards
- Arm Circles – 20 reps
- Trunk Twist – 20 reps
- Side Bends – 20 reps
Swimming along with effective pool exercises are one of the functional cardio workouts for women that is low impact and yet quite effective. Swimming is a time-tested total-body workout that is a major calorie burner and it possesses amazing cardiovascular benefits. It helps to increase strength, flexibility and bone density.
Being a low-impact workout it can be practiced safely by people of all ages. Do kick drills and moves such as scissor kicking, backstrokes, butterfly kicks, dolphin kicks and breast strokes to tone your legs, tummy, shoulders, upper back and chest.
This is one of the fun and entertaining cardio fitness exercises for those who hate running. Bicycling is a great cardio workout that gets your heart pumping, promotes calorie burn, helps to relieve stress and gives you an opportunity to work out in the open air, close to nature. It is a total-body workout that targets the arms, abs, back, butt and legs.
Being a low-impact cardio exercise it does not put too much stress on the joints and can be done by people with knee joint problems. Those who don’t know how to ride a bicycle can get the benefits of cycling by joining a spin class at the gym.
Although, most of us view kickboxing as a method of self-defence practiced only by martial arts enthusiast, but in reality kickboxing is considered one of the best cardio workouts that can burn approximately 700 to 800 calories per hour and helps you to learn a few key self-defence moves. It is another total-body workout that combines martial arts and cardio and helps to strengthen the muscles and tone the flab. It is a blend of aerobic and anaerobic exercises that helps to burn fat faster compared to other exercises. Every kickboxing session should begin with a warm up session. Some of the common kick boxing moves are jabs, cross jabs, punches, upper cuts, front, back and roundhouse kicks. A sample cardio kickboxing circuit is as follows: (6 rounds of 30 seconds each)
- Straight punches
- Oblique mountain climbers
- Around the World Kicks– alternating legs
- Squat jumps
Circuit training is very much like HIIT and it consists of a series of high intensity cardio workouts that are done in a quick sequence with no gap or rest in between. Each workout is done in 3 to 5 sets and is a wonderful way to build cardiovascular endurance and strength. Circuit training workouts can be customized as per the fitness level of the individual and it takes very less time to perform.
The exercise session is called circuit training because once the exercises are complete; one begins the first exercise again for the next circuit. Some of the typical cardio exercises you can include in a circuit are squats, back extensions, bench lifts and inclined press up for the upper body, sit ups and crunches for the core, squat jumps, step ups, compass jumps and shuttle runs for the lower body.
Almost all of us love to let our hair down and dancing is so much fun and enjoyment that we almost forget that it is actually cardio workout. Dance cardio workout options range from groovy Zumba, hip hop, belly dancing and Bollywood masala dance to elegant jazz, ballet, salsa and ball room dance that not only torch up those calories, but also helps to improve your body posture and stance.
Just an hour of intense dancing can burn around 450 calories and because your core remains engaged throughout the dancing session so you can expect to burn more fat from your abdominal region. Try to intensify your workout and fat burn by dancing to fast-paced songs. Remember to move your entire body including your arms, hips and waist in order to reap the benefits to the fullest.
Trampoline jumping is one of the fun-filled cardio exercises for weight loss that is extremely low-impact and can be done by kids and adults alike. It is a great leg and back workout that involves only jumping and tumbling around on the trampoline. Studies show that 10 minutes of bouncing on a trampoline is a better cardio workout compared to 30 minutes of walking.
The elastic pad or mat of the trampoline absorbs 80% of the shock from the rebound and reduces the risk of injury to ankles and knees. It is the ideal cardio exercise for people with low mobility. The core muscles are constantly engaged throughout the jumping which results in a stronger and well-toned stomach and lower back. So, what are you waiting for? Get your friends together and enjoy this fun activity.
battle rope exercises are a power packed way to pump up the heart rate and burn fat. It is considered the best cardio workout to burn fat that can be practiced by almost anyone – even the beginner. The effective battle rope moves help to work out the muscles present in the abs, back and glutes which makes it great for core training.
The ropes come in different lengths and thickness that makes it suitable for determining the intensity of the workouts. Some of the most effective battle ropes exercises you can include in your cardio session are power slams, jumping power slams, make waves, double arm side-to-side shuffle and outside circles.
The jumping rope is a an extremely affordable workout equipment that can be used by the whole family to tone muscles, burn off calories and improve cardiovascular fitness – all at the same time. Exercising with a jumping rope is really useful in improving muscle tone in the lower body and legs because the jumping movement creates micrortears in the muscles that heal and make the muscles stronger and more toned.
You can do the basic jump where the rope passes under the foot, the alternate foot jumps, endurance jumps, combo jumps where you can do 8 to 10 alternate foot jumps and then 8 to 10 basic jumps. You can also do high steps where you raise each knee to a 90 degree angle while jumping.
Plyometrics exercises also known as Plyo is the most effective indoor cardio exercise that involves explosive jumping and hopping movements that helps to work the core, leg and glutal muscles. These bodyweight cardio exercises are frequently practiced by athletes and sports persons involved in high energy sports like basketball and football that requires quick burst of movement.
The two basic concepts involved in plyometrics is depth drop and depth jump which results in improved performance and greater calorie burn. It is a more intense cardio workout compared to the rest of the exercises mentioned in the list. Some of the most effective plyometric exercise you can include in your cardio regime are box jumps, bounding, depth jumps, pop ups, traveling push ups, scissor jumps, skater jumps, etc.
Other List of Cardio Exercises that you should not miss out
Are you ruing over the fact that you don’t have a gym membership which will help you to reach your weight loss goals? If yes, then don’t worry, there are these cardio routines which are massive calorie torchers. Coming up, some great calorie burning exercises which will help you break up with your treadmill and elliptical!
1) Jumping Jack
No HIIT routines are complete without the jumping jack as it burns a lot of calories. It tones your body too, which includes your inner and outer thighs, quadriceps, laterals, and deltoids. Tighten your tummy while you are suspended mid-air!
- Stretch your arms and legs before you start jumping. Jack first and jump
- Stand straight, spine and head following next, arms beside your body, and feet conjoined.
- Bend your knees slightly and jump up in the air as high as you possibly can.
- Your legs should be a little wider than your shoulders when you jump.
- Stretch your hands and your legs; when you come down, your feet should hit the floor while your hands are above your head.
- Complete one or two sets before you rest.
2) Squat Jumps
While regular squats are great for your entire body, squat jumps take it a notch higher and you are sure to feel the burn on your quads. Here is how you nail a jump squat.
- Stand straight while keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Start with a regular squat, then keep your core engaged jump up with force.
- When you land back, lower your body again back into the squat position and here you complete one rep. Jump lightly and with control.
- Do at least two to three sets of 10 reps.
- While you jump, use your whole foot and not your toes only. Do not to let your shoulders to lean beyond your knees, as this can affect your back.
Do you want to feel your quads, outer thighs, and calves and just about your whole body on fire? Then look no further than a burpee! It starts on a fun note, and by the end of it, you are dripping with sweat! You don’t need anything but your bodyweight, and of course, stamina!
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Jump down and push your hips back, bending your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
- Place your hands just inside your feet and shift your weight onto them.
- Jump your feet back softly to land on the balls of your feet and into a plank position. Form a straight line from your head to heels. Do not let your back sag and do not stick your butt up in the air.
- Jump your feet back to the previous position so that they land just outside of your hands, again.
- Jump up high with your hands overhead and into the air.
- Don’t take a reprieve as you land, as you immediately need to lower back into a squat for your next rep.
4) High Knees
If the last time you did high knees was your high school gym, it is time you started this cardio workout again! You can do them anywhere and you just need your own bodyweight.
- Stand with feet hip distance apart.
- Lift up your right knee as high as it goes and raise the opposite arm, then switch quickly to the left knee before right foot lands. Continue pulling up your knees up as quickly as possible.
5) Fast Feet Shuffle
This exercise is deceptively easy to look at, but when you shuffle your feet as fast as lightning, it does not seem so easy after all. You have heard the bad part; the good part is that it is really effective in torching the calories.
- Stand with your feet wider than hip width and bend knees slightly, sending your hips back and keeping your core engaged.
- Shuffle your feet to the right for as much space as you have, then shuffle back the other way. Keep it low and make your feet move as quickly as possible to make the most of the exercise.
6) Box Jump
Jumping on boxes was never this fun and calorie busting at the same time. It tones your entire body and is also the quintessential ditch-the-treadmill kind of workout!
- Get a sturdy box or bench to complete this move.
- Start with a box that is mid-calf height and then gradually move higher from
- Face the box with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees, send hips back, and swing your arms back, to propel your movement up onto box. Land on to your toes softly then step down one foot at a time and repeat.
7) Donkey Kick
While it does not have cardio written all over it, donkey kick is great for your lower body. It also tightens and strengthens your glutes in a big way!
- Jump feet up from a high plank position with your core tight and hips level, and kick butt with heels.
- Your weight should shift onto your hands, but shoulders should be aligned over your wrists.
- Extend your legs and then land lightly on toes to start again.
This best cardio workout focuses on multiple muscle groups at the same time; the skater can burn substantial calories and tone your whole body. It also strengthens the lower body and core strength while improving your balance and agility. The skater exercise makes a solid addition to any exercise routine.
- Stand with your feet hip width and a slight bend in knees.
- Jump to the right with your right foot and land lightly on the ball of your right foot, then sweep your left foot behind your right leg.
- Do not transfer weight on your left foot if you can help it!
- Jump to the left with left your foot swiftly, allowing your right foot to sweep behind the left leg.
- Continue to do alternate sides.
9) Butt Kicks
The butt kick exercise is a great cardiovascular move that can warm your body, amp your heart rate up and also helps you burn some calories. This can prove to be beneficial for your legs because it strengthens the hamstrings and helps prevent injuries.
- Run in place, kicking your heels toward your
- Swing your arms at one side or make them to rest against your butt so that your heels kick your
- Ensure the movement is being driven from your hamstrings.
10) Plank Jacks
Build core strength and also improve your cardiovascular fitness with plank jacks, it brings up your heart rate and burns a great number of calories.
- Drop into a high plank position, keep your core tight and jump feet apart.
- Jump feet width and again bring them back together.
- Repeat the step quickly and as many times as possible while trying to maintain the hip level.
A Few Cardio Exercises Guidelines
Before you hit it, make sure you follow certain basic guidelines,
- Keep yourself hydrated and drink lots of water before and after your workouts so that you don’t feel dehydrated.
- Remember to throw in a warm-up routine before your invigorating workout and a cool-down routine after your workout.
- Fuel right after your workouts. Don’t binge, of course! A small protein-filled nutritious snack of about 150 calories can do the trick for you.
- Don’t push it very hard right from the beginning, push the envelope only when you feel you are strong enough to do that. Start with beginner’s level, then move onto intermediate and finally to advanced level.
So, now bring some interesting and entertaining variations in your cardio sessions and cut out the boredom of running with these amazing cardio exercises mentioned in this article. Get ready for the sweat fest? Begin your fitness journey now with these cardio workouts and bid a permanent