By Orla, July 1, 2013
Running definitely isn’t for everyone, for some us, the thought of running is enough to put us off cardio exercise completely. But cardio isn’t just running, there are plenty of less daunting exercises out there to replace with running.
Cardio exercise is essentially any type of exercise that increases your heart rate and gets your lungs working harder for at least ten minutes.
Cardio is an excellent way to improve fitness because it helps burn calories, decrease body fat, strengthen your heart and increase your lung capacity.
We have a couple of tips to help you fit some simple cardio into your routine without having to go for an hour-long run. Remember cardio doesn’t have to be done in blocks of hours, but it does have to be done regularly to reap the benefits.
1. Skipping Rope
Skipping ropes are not just for kids, you’ll be surprised how much you can actually benefit from skipping. In just 30 minutes, you can burn about 300 calories by jumping.
Make it easier for yourself – stick on the TV and focus on something else and the 30 minutes won’t drag out. The concept is to maintain a steady, constant rhythm rather than trying to jump as high as you can – as this can cause damage to your knees and hips.
2. Take the Stairs
Ditch the lift, take the stairs at work! Once you get into the habit of taking the stairs, it won’t seem like such a chore. Uphill climbing is great for toning your backside, and 5 minutes of brisk stair-climbing can burn up to 70 calories.
Think about it, if you do it everyday, it’s a really easy, convenient way to start toning up them thigh and backside muscles.
3. Jumping Jacks
Remember cardio doesn’t have to be detailed and technical, you just want to get that heart racing. The simplest of exercises, such as jumping jacks, can be extremely effective. Try to fit in five or ten minutes of jumping jacks throughout the day, bonus points if you can do it in the morning, as this will kick-start your metabolism for the whole day.
Again, put on the TV to distract yourself and the time will fly, or listen to fast-paced, upbeat music to get you in the groove.
4. Put Your All into Chores
Those dreaded daily chores have to be done, and while this won’t make them any more fun, hopefully it can motivate you. Sweeping, vacuuming, washing the windows, doing the grocery shopping and all of those other daily tasks are actually a great way to burn some calories.
Making the beds for 30 minutes can burn 130 calories, and cleaning the windows for 30 minutes can burn 125 calories – so next time you’re struggling to finish those chores, think about how beneficial they actually are and put your all into it!
5. Play with the Kids
Instead of watching the kids play tag, tip-the-can and hop scotch, get out there and play with them. We know children have a lot of stamina, but keeping up with them is exactly the motivation you need.
Go cycling with them, hop along with them or join in on that game of rounders. Little changes like this can make a big difference, you’ll be doing cardio without even realising it.