When it comes to exercising at home, it can be hard to find new and interesting ways to incorporate cardio. The NHS and WHO recommend we do 150 minutes of cardio per week, so how can we keep things interesting? Read on to discover the different ways that you can do cardio at home...


Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

  1. Bodyweight Cardio
  2. Bodyweight Cardio Workout Plan
  3. Light Equipment Cardio
  4. Home Gym Cardio

Bodyweight Cardio

woman exercising at home

High intensity bodyweight exercises are always a great place to start. No equipment is required and you don't need much space, and it's very easy to get your heart rate up. Here are some of our favourites.

Star Jumps

Star jumps are an extremely effective aerobic exercise. Chances are, you already know what you’re doing! One round of these for 60 seconds will soon get your short of breath and your heart racing.

Knee-High Jogging

Knee high jogging is another fantastic way to get cardio into your home workout. The increased knee height means you'll be using more energy and more muscles, meaning an even larger calorie burn.

Elbow Knee Touches

Another great move for a home cardio workout is elbow knee touches. By lifting your knee and pulling across the adjacent elbow, you're giving yourself a huge core contraction and still getting that all-important heart rate increase. It's a great toning exercise.

Squats

Strength exercises done in the correct way are great cardio. Squats are a perfect example, bringing a vast range of muscles into play, so that you're using a lot of energy very quickly. With the right duration and proper form, you'll feel the aerobic effects immediately.

Burpees

Burpees are probably the hardest exercise on the list because of the combination of different compound movements involved. Best practice is to take it steady and make sure every movement is done correctly from the knee tuck to the rocket jump. Don't push yourself too hard.

Mountain Climbers

We'll finish on a great lower ab exercise that can still hit the cardio goal.  Bringing one knee up at a time is similar to the high knee jogging, but the change of the angle and the need for balance changes the game completely. It's a great one to finish a home cardio workout.

Bodyweight Cardio Workout Plan

Try this workout plan for your at-home cardio fix. We recommend repeating twice, or three times if you're feeling adventurous!

ExerciseTime
Star jumps45 seconds
Knee high jogging30 seconds
Elbow knee touches30 seconds
Squats20 squats
Burpees45 seconds
Mountain climbers45 seconds

Light Equipment Cardio

woman skipping with a rope

If bodyweight exercises aren't your thing, or you'd like to get out of the house, there are other ways to exercise near home...

Skipping

Skipping is one of the most effective ways to exercise. Even just 15 minutes of skipping can burn a massive number of calories and get the blood pumping instantly. It will be one of the more taxing ways to exercise, but the benefits are enormous.

Stepping

Stepping may not even cross your mind when it comes to effective cardiovascular exercise, but don't rule it out. Even with just the one step, such as a stair or a doorstep, you can make a huge difference to your cardio at home. Simple stepping with the classic up-up-down-down pattern will get your heart racing in no time at all.

Running

The more obvious cardio exercises are important, too. Running and jogging are famous for their cardio benefits. All you need is a suitable pair of trainers to get you started. It also works wonders for your mental health.

Cycling

Cycling is much is in the same category. You may have to cycle a little further afield to get the most out of it, but the great outdoors are a fantastic mood booster, and you'll enjoy an excellent cardio workout, too.


Home Gym Cardio

woman on a rowing machine

For the most effective cardio workout at home, a home gym is what you need to invest in. With just one or two pieces of kit, you'll make huge improvements to your cardiovascular health.

Treadmill

Treadmills are a great alternative for running, allowing you to reap the benefits without leaving the house. They allow you to train however you want, no matter the time of day or the weather.

Exercise Bike

Exercise bikes allow you to take things at your own pace, whether you want to take it steady for an hour or do some interval training for fifteen minutes. The ball is entirely in your court.

Rowing Machine

Rowing machines are the perfect combination of strength and cardio exercise. Like the exercise bike, rowers have a varying level of resistance, so that you can make the most of your training and your own abilities.

Cross trainer

Finally, the cross-trainer is a great all-rounder because of the upper and lower body involvement. Few cardiovascular exercises are this effective whilst being low impact, making it much more user friendly.

No matter what you choose to do, any exercise will reap benefits to your health. Cardiovascular health cannot be stressed enough - it's so important to keep you in great condition and help you to lead a fitter, healthier life.


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Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.