Top 5 Cardio Exercises
Breaking a sweat a few times per week, including any form of activity that causes your heart rate to increase and your breathing to quicken, can work wonders on your mind and body. Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio, involves repetitive and rhythmic contraction of large muscle groups, challenging both your heart rate and lungs.
There are different types of cardio exercises, common forms include running, cycling, swimming, and walking. You may be wondering what the best cardio workout is for you. Ultimately, the best cardio is the type you enjoy and will keep up with consistently! Any movement is better than none, and whatever type of cardio fits into your lifestyle is the one worth doing. Each type has a wide range of benefits that include weight loss, improved health, and stress reduction.
If you’re just starting out, 15 minutes of cardio may be all you can do and that is perfectly fine. Adults in England should aim to take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, according to physical activity guidelines for adults from the UK Chief Medical Officers
Some of the many benefits of cardiovascular exercise include:
- Increased energy and stamina
- Strengthens the heart and respiratory muscles
- Reduces cholesterol levels and arterial blood pressure
- Improve mental alertness, increase well-being, and reduce the tendency for depression and anxiety
- Aids sleep
- Strengthens the immune system
Power walking is an amazing form of exercise that requires no equipment, no special athletic ability and no gym membership. It can be very beneficial. Beginners should start with just 10 minutes per day, then slowly increasing the time you walk by 5 minutes until you’re able to get up to 30 minutes per day.
Some tips for power walking:
- Get the right shoes. They should include good arch support and a flat sole.
- Make sure you’re visible. Walk on a path or sidewalk where you’re safe from traffic. If you’re walking in the dark, use reflective tape or clothing, or bring a flashlight.
- Make it fun. Walk with a friend or your dog. Walk somewhere new with great views. Walk to music you like or a podcast. Do whatever makes it fun for you!
If you wanted to add some resistance to your walk you could include ankle weights. Shop here
Alternatively, you could try a weighted vest for the journey, increasing the number of calories you burn on your walk. SHOP HERE
Running is one of the most popular forms of cardio exercise. Some choose to jog instead of run. Both are similar, the big difference between the two is that running is done at a faster rate.
Find our previous blog which lists the reasons why running can lift your mood
People start running for different reasons, including weight loss, improving fitness, or just for fun. If you are new to running, starting out with a jog or a power walk will prevent you from pushing yourself too hard, too quickly.
Running regularly has the following health benefits:
- Strengthens your muscles, specifically your calves, and glutes
- Helps you to maintain a healthy weight
- Lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol levels
To avoid the strain put on your joints from running outdoors, (or the constantly varying weather changes) you could invest in a treadmill. Find our large high-quality range of treadmills here – Shop here
An amazing low-impact form of cardio is rowing. Full body workout that provides an effective way of increasing your heart rate. Indoor rowing machines are popular for the home gym as they utilise nearly every muscle in the body. Since you push with your legs and pull with your arms, this form of cardio is even more efficient than cycling or running.
Some benefits of rowing:
- Amazing exercise to improve your heart and lungs
- Builds on power and endurance
- Incredibly low impact not straining your joints
You can find our large range of foldable rowing machines for the home here
Perfect for all fitness levels, Cycling is an amazing low-impact form of cardio exercise that can be performed both indoors and outdoors. You can control many factors when cycling from the speed to the resistance. This allows for variety within the workout, which keeps it fresh and fun.
The amazing benefits of cycling:
- The perfect exercise for beginners
- Boosting your mental health and brain power
- Improves balance, posture, and coordination
Skipping rope exercise
While you may think skipping is a childhood pastime, it’s an incredibly affordable and easy way to increase your heart rate and break a sweat. Enhancing your muscle strength is one of the many benefits including boosting metabolism, improving coordination and much more. A high-quality skipping rope is compact and the ultimate workout addition. SHOP HERE
How skipping affects your health:
- Improves cardiovascular fitness
- An amazing full-body workout
- Benefits coordination and motor skills