When most people decide they’re ready to make changes and start getting healthy, they jump in head first, which can lead to disastrous results. People can get hurt because they start a fitness program that their body isn’t ready for. Or, maybe even worse, they become discouraged because exercise seems too difficult for them to do. Let’s take a look at 10 easy cardio workouts that will help you get in shape as you begin a new, healthier lifestyle.
- Walking – Walking is a great way to start a cardio program, and it’s easily modified to meet your needs. If you need to spend a few days just walking slowly around your block, start there and work your way up to walking faster and longer every day. If you can already walk a mile or two, focus on speeding up for 4-5 minutes before slowing back down, just be sure you can still carry on a conversation while you walk and don’t feel dizzy – if you do slow down. You can work your way up to walking faster, longer until you’re ready to step up to running.
- Biking – Like walking, biking is a great way to start an exercise program and is easy to modify for your fitness level. Just like above, start out biking slowly for short distances and work your way up to a longer, faster workout.
- Treadmill – Have you got a piece of furniture you hang clothes on that used to be a treadmill? Well it’s time to put the clothes away and use the treadmill for its intended purpose. Just like walking and biking, start slowly and work your way up to faster and longer workouts.
- Stairs – A workout can be as simple as taking the stairs! Take a 10-minute break at work to walk up and down the stairs. Walk up and down stairs at home. Again, you can start slowly, just going up and down once or twice depending on how many stairs you have. Work your way-up doing more repetitions faster.
- Play with the Kids or Grandkids – Anyone who’s ever chased kids around knows it’s a great workout. Get yourself and the kids away from the electronics and go outside. Play tag, play soccer (or basketball, baseball or football). You’ll all have a great time and the whole family will be getting healthy.
- Start a Routine – Maybe you’re already in fairly good shape, you just don’t have any set schedule or routine. Get organized with a 10-minute work-out. You can find one online that meets your fitness level, but a good place to start is a combination of standing push-ups, jumping jacks, lunges, toe touches and windmill stretches.
- Work Around the House – Breakout the push mower! Clean the gutters! There are great ways to get a cardio workout around the house every day. Mowing the grass with a push mower is great cardio and can be a good strengthening exercise for arms and legs.
- Swimming – Hitting the pool is an awesome low impact cardio workout. Swimming laps will gently work your muscles while increasing your heartrate.
- Dancing – Whether you’re dancing in the kitchen with kids while making dinner, or taking a class, dancing is a great cardio workout! Dancing will also help you stretch your muscles and increase flexibility.
- Figure Out What You Love to Do – There are dozens of ways to get a good cardio workout. Chances are something you love to do could be turned into a great cardio workout. Jump on a trampoline. Play hopscotch. Finding something you love to do will be a great way to ease into working out every day and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Starting with a goal of 10 minutes of cardio a day, and adding 2-5 minutes a day once you’re comfortable, you’ll go from being a newbie to a veteran in no time. Starting a new lifestyle isn’t easy, but starting slowly and working your way up will give your mind and body time to adjust and help new healthier habits stick.