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Gym-Free Cardio Exercises: The Ultimate Guide

Fitness is not limited to gyms or workout facilities. It is also possible to do so while staying at home. Cardiovascular exercises in particular do not necessitate a wide range of equipment. You can do it at home or even in a park. Individuals who engage in 120-150 minutes of physical activity per week have been seen to have better health. Incorporating a cardio workout into your weekly routine has numerous health benefits. For example, it has been linked to better heart health, sleep, immunity, and mood. Cardiovascular exercises are an essential component of any exercise regimen. Various home workouts are available for weight loss and maintaining a healthy body.

Health Benefits of Cardio Exercises

Helps Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Regular cardio can assist you in maintaining a healthy weight. Without any dietary adjustments, cardio alone resulted in weight loss in men and women who were overweight or obese for ten months in a small 2013 trial. Studies suggest that combining exercise with dietary adjustments is the most effective.

Cardio is beneficial to your body and your mind.  According to a review, regular cardiac activity can help protect your brain against cognitive decline, which starts around the age of 45. Also, exercise increases the production of chemicals that support the hippocampus, the brain’s memory and learning centre.

Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

Aerobics puts our cardiovascular system under stress. However, over time, our bodies adapt to this mechanism. As a result, your blood pressure may drop, and your HDL (good cholesterol) levels may rise making them stronger than before. Furthermore, this improved efficiency makes your body, heart, and blood vessels work less strenuously. This positive chain of events finally collates in lowering your risk of diabetes, coronary artery disease, heart attack, and other conditions. 

Regulates Blood Pressure

According to researchers, cardio exercise lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure in those with hypertension. It may also immediately reduce systolic blood pressure for almost 24 hours.

Hypertension can cause a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, and even dementia. Exercise improves blood circulation in your body by enabling the heart to pump blood faster and helps flush it through the arteries without any trouble. Thus, regular cardio exercises help maintain stable blood pressure.

Helps Sleep Better

Even 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercises, such as walking or cycling, can help you sleep better. Research shows that regular exercise can help people avoid sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and other sleep disorders. Cardio exercises facilitate the production of a hormone called melatonin that helps people sleep better and establish a proper circadian rhythm. 

Strengthens Immune System

Recent studies show that regular cardio exercise benefits the immune system by maintaining your blood cells’ health and cytokines (proteins). Both of these elements are essential for managing and improving immunity. 

Furthermore, exercise in patients with hematologic cancer can significantly improve immune function and tumour microenvironment. 

Improves Mood

Serotonin is a brain chemical that controls mood. It is popularly known as your body’s inborn ‘feel-good’ chemical. When its levels are normal, you feel more focused, emotionally stable, and joyful. Serotonin levels rise with regular exercise. Heart health and mood disorders can improve with thirty minutes of aerobic activity five times per week combined with two strength-training sessions.

Here’s an article about serotonin and how its effects on our metabolism

Boosts Energy Naturally

People frequently consume energy drinks and coffee throughout the day to stay attentive. However, using these approaches excessively can be hazardous to one’s health. Cardio exercises are the best option to boost your energy levels. It facilitates the release of a hormone called endorphins get released which relieves stress and pain and enhances the overall well-being of an individual. Furthermore, cardio enhances your lung capacity as you strain your breathing ability during strenuous activity. 

Cardio Exercises for a Gym-Free Workout

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is an incredible way to get some cardio at home. Jumping rope enhances the flexibility of surrounding tendons and connective tissue while strengthening calf muscles. In addition, it tones the arms as well as the abdominal muscles, which are used while jumping. 

As part of a person’s daily moderate-intensity exercise, 15 minutes of jump rope is perfect. 

Instructions

Grip the jump rope handles lightly.Keep the elbows close to the torso, and the shoulders relaxed. Bend the knees gently.As the rope passes overhead, rotate it from the wrist and maintain a smooth arc.Jump low to lessen the strain on your knees and ankles.

Squat Jumps

Squat jumps are an excellent technique to increase your workout intensity while raising your heart rate. Add these at the end of your usual cardio routine. 

Instructions

Start with your feet around hip-width distance apart and your core engaged.Squat as low as you can, if possible, touching the floor with your fingertips. Push your hips back to avoid putting too much pressure on the knees.Swing your arms aloft and jump as high as you can.Return to your squat with soft knees and repeat for 30 to 60 seconds.

Running on Stairs

Running on a set of stairs can give you a little more space and may make you feel more comfortable. Perform this exercise at your own home or apartment complex. Climbing stairs is one of the best exercises to burn fat.

Instructions

Begin by jogging for 10 to 15 minutes at your own pace as a warmup.Time yourself for two minutes of continuous stair climbing, then take a one-minute break. Repeat.Do 3-5 2-minute sets in total

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jack is a full-body exercise. It is an excellent way to involve the heart, lungs, and leg muscles. You can perform it anywhere. Consider performing three sets of jumping jacks, each consisting of 50 reps.

Instructions

Standing tall, spread your arms to the sides and your legs apart.Put the arms to the sides of the body and the legs to the midline as you jump.Jump again, extending the arms and legs. Repeat it.

Frog Jumps

Frog jumps are a high-intensity exercise that will quickly raise your heart rate. This difficult exercise can help you burn more calories. Frog jumps improve cardiovascular health. Begin by performing 2-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions. You must always decide on your set as per your ability to maintain proper technique.

Instructions

Squat low enough to put your hands on the floor, with your feet approximately hip-width apart. Jump up in an aggressive movement, generating force with your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.Tap your heels together and place your hands behind your head or in the air as you jump.To protect the joints, land with bent knees and return to your squat to prepare for the next jump.Repeat the frog jumps 10 to 15 times. Rest and repeat if desired. 

Plyo or Jumping Lunges

Plyo lunges are great for calorie burning, increasing heart rate, and toning the hips, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

However, if this high-impact, high-intensity exercise is too strenuous for you, stick with dynamic lunges. 

Instructions

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your abs tight.Take a big step forward with your right leg and shift your weight forward to make your right heel touch the floor first; keep your arms relaxed at your sides.Lower your body until your right leg is parallel to the floor and your knee gets lined up over your ankle.Now, jump! Jump up, quickly switching the position of your feet in mid-air to bring your left leg forward and your right leg behind you.Land gently in a basic lunge position with your left leg forward and your right leg back.Repeat this jump-switching continuously for about 30-60 seconds or longer.

Burpees

Burpees are an intense exercise using the arms, legs, and core. Although the movement is simple, it is extremely demanding on the heart, lungs, and body. You can incorporate it into your routine to improve your power, agility, and endurance. It can be performed at home as it does not require equipment or a large space. 

Instructions

Do a squat, placing your hands on the ground between your feet.Put your body weight on your hands and kick yourself back into a push-up position. Perform a push-up.Jump the legs to return to the starting position.Stand up.Jump in place and get back to the squat position. Repeat it 10 to 15 times for 30 to 60 seconds.

Alternatively, you may choose to skip the push and just hold a plank position if your chest muscles or shoulders are not ready or supportive enough. You could also do a partial pushup until you build up more strength. Furthermore, you can also omit the jump after the push-up and directly get back to the squat position. 

Running In Place

Running in place helps to reduce muscle fatigue, enhance cardiovascular fitness, and strengthen muscles. It also improves flexibility, gait, and lumbar stability. Therefore, interval training might include running in place. The steps given below are for the HIIT format.

Instructions

Run in place for 2 minutes.Increase speed for 1 minute.Rest for 1 minute.Jog in place for 3 minutes.Rest for 1 minute.

Mountain Climbing 

Mountain climbers are a high-intensity, advanced exercise that will raise your heart rate and increase the intensity of your workouts. In addition, this exercise improves endurance and agility, making it a fantastic overall activity. 

Instructions

Start from a push-up position, with your back flat and your abs engaged.Bring your right knee towards your chest, with your left foot on the floor.Jump into the air and switch feet, bringing the left foot in and the right foot back.Continue alternating your feet as quickly as possible for 30 to 60 seconds.

The HealthifyMe Note: 

To get the most out of your cardio workout, warm up before and cool down after every workout session and give your body time to recover between workouts. Moreover, it is essential to eat a healthy and balanced diet. In addition, create and follow a weekly exercise routine.

Conclusion

These cardio exercises are convenient home workouts. As it does not include any special equipment, it is simple to perform at home. In addition, cardiovascular exercises are an excellent way to increase the intensity of your workouts. Numerous cardio workouts exist to choose from to lose weight or get healthier. However, one should be aware of their limitations and avoid exceeding them. In addition, staying fit and maintaining a healthy weight necessitates a combination of a well-balanced diet and regular exercise.

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