Cardio exercises to get your blood pumping

Jamie Brock, Correspondent

Cardio exercises can not only be fun, but they are also some of the most effective exercises in weight loss and to live a longer, happier and healthier life.

While some people do not prefer cardio, getting your blood pumping with cardio can be a great way to get in a quick workout with or without weights. Some workouts could be either fast paced and quick, and others could be high intensity, but time consuming. 

Let’s take a look at some popular cardio workouts and their benefits:

Running

Running is one of the most popular cardio workouts with a great deal of options. Whether on a track, treadmill or just the road, sprinting is the quickest way to get your heart rate up and is great for improving your speed. Jogging can be used more for distance and time training.

Mountain climbing

Mountain climbers are a great stationary cardio workout. You start in a plank position and alternate bringing your legs up to your chest. Then, return to a plank position, kind of like running in place, but on the ground.

Burpees

Burpees are a more intense cardio workout and consist of several different moves. Starting in a standing position, jump up and then crouch down on the floor, jumping backwards into a plank position. Some people like to add a pushup before they jump back up.

Jumping jacks

Jumping jacks are one of the easier workouts and are as simple as jumping to bring your feet apart and your arms above your head, and then back into a standing position.

Meter sprints

Meter sprints consist of picking a certain distance set by meters, and running as fast as you can from start to stop. Repeating this three or four times is a great way to get your heart pumping and to break a sweat.

Running stairs

Running up and down stairs is a great way to incorporate cardio into muscle targeting, specifically quads and calves. Even walking up and down stairs for 10-15 minutes can be effective.

Swimming

Swimming can be a fun and easy way to workout in the water. Swimming laps in a pool works many muscles in your body and you can set your own time or lap limit.

Cycling

Riding a bicycle is a fun workout that involves cardio and the outdoors. You can take it easy and ride on flatland, or challenge yourself and go up and down hills. Like running, cycling can be used for either time or distance workouts.

Jumping rope

Jumping rope is a quick and easy cardio workout that consists only of yourself, and a rope. This exercise can also be used for time or speed training.

High intensity interval training

High intensity interval training is a cardio technique consisting of alternating between several workouts with little to no breaks in between each exercise, and repeating the whole process until it becomes tiring. Some great exercises to use for HIIT can be burpees, mountain climbers, squats, planks, pushups, or jumping rope. You can even incorporate weight lifting into HIIT for more effective workouts.

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