PART 6 OF OUR SERIES: WORKING OUT AT HOME IN THE DUBAI SUMMER MONTHS
There are three basic types of exercises that your body needs for maximum fitness: flexibility training, weight training and cardio. Each element plays an important role in maintaining a healthy, strong body. Cardio is oftentimes overlooked because its benefits are not always as obvious as weightlifting; and progress is more difficult to measure. But there are some distinct benefits that are achieved through cardio exercises that cannot be attained by any other means. Good cardio workouts enhance other fitness efforts and help you be a well-rounded athlete.
Benefits of Cardio
The body benefits from cardio in a variety of ways. Cardiovascular exercises are designed to get your heart rate up and give your cardiovascular and respiratory systems a good workout. The three primary benefits you will realize when you include cardiovascular exercises in your regular workout routines include:
- Lower Resting Heart Rate
- Weight Loss
- Stress Reduction
Research also indicates that cardio exercises help reduce the risks of developing serious and chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. Regularly engaging in cardio exercises helps build up your endurance and stamina and it releases chemicals in the brain which help to improve your mood.
Cardio Exercises without a Treadmill
During the hot summer months in Dubai where temperatures pass 50 Degrees Celsius, it is not feasible or safe to do cardio type exercises outside. And not everyone has a treadmill in their home. But there are some effective ways to do cardiovascular exercises at home even without a treadmill. We are going to take a look at some cardio exercises that do not require a treadmill. Here are the top 5 cardio exercises to do at home.
Cardio Workout 1 - Jump Rope (Skipping)
Maybe you remember jumping rope as a kid on the school playground, but it can be a lot more challenging than what you remember. Jumping rope is not only a great way to give your circulatory and respiratory systems a good workout, it also helps strengthen your core and boost your metabolism.
Starting is easy: just use a regular jump rope and do single jumps for 3 minutes straight. Take a short break and then jump rope similar to how you do circuit training: 2 minutes on then a minute off. Repeat this sequence for about 10 minutes. As you get more comfortable and conditioned you will be able to go for longer periods of time without stopping. Work up to jumping for 3 minutes, then 4. Eventually, as your stamina increases you can work up to jumping for 30 minutes without stopping. Jump rope regularly to improve agility and coordination while strengthening calf muscles, arms and shoulders.
Cardio Workout 3 - Kickboxing
Kickboxing is a very good way to give your cardiovascular system a workout; but you can also burn off excess energy and steam. Not only will you be getting your heart rate up, you will be strengthening core muscles, and upper body at the same time. If you are just beginning kickboxing it is a good idea to take a class just to get the basic form and mechanics down good. But after you learn the basic moves kickboxing is a cardio activity that can be done virtually anywhere.
Cardio Workout 2 - HIIT Training
High intensity interval training (HIIT) can be used for an effective cardio workout. You will not need any equipment to do these intense exercises. There are numerous exercises that can be combined to create a customized workout plan. Combine 5 or 6 exercises like squats, burpees or mountain climbers. Each of the exercises is done for one minute; but you’ll take a 20 second break between them. During the break you should keep moving but it should be a low intensity interval. You can do something like marching in place for 20 seconds before starting the next exercise. Because you will be engaging in short but intense bouts of exertion, you will boost your metabolism. For the best overall effect you will want to try to do this type of routine 2 times throughout the day. Some exercises that work well for this type of cardio routine include:
- Jumping Jacks
- Lateral Jumps
- Jumping Oblique Twists
- Pendulum Swings
- High Knees
Cardio Workout 4 - Stair Climbing
If your house includes stairs you can use them for cardio exercises. To get your heart rate up try skipping every other step while running up and speed walking down using each step. When you run up using every other step, you will get an explosive plyometric workout. This will offer added benefits like improved nervous system function and more powerful legs. Try doing it for 10 minutes to start and then gradually add time until you can run stairs for 30 minutes.
Cardio Workout 5 - Jumping Jack Pyramids
Start by doing as many jumping jacks as you can do in 10 seconds; and then rest for 10 seconds. Now, do as many jumping jacks as you can do for 20 seconds and then rest 20 seconds. Then, do as many jumping jacks as you can do in 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. Now work back down the pyramid by doing another 30, 20 then 10 seconds sets. Repeat this set three times working your way up to 30 seconds and back down to 10.
Author: Mary Olinger
Author Bio: Mary Olinger is a Fitness & Workout Nutrition Editor at Nutrition Souq. She is a marathoner who trains year round. She holds a Master’s Degree in Health Education. Her expertise is in the field of fitness, diet, weight loss and nutrition. She is an international educator who enjoys writing to helping people make healthier life choices.
Links to External Pages: