Tips For Getting Cardio In The Winter
Getting cardio is an important element when you're trying to stay in shape or lose weight. Cardio raises your heart rate to deliver oxygen to different parts of your body and helps burn calories to make the most of your workout. In the winter, doing resistance training is easy because you can stay in one place, but it can be challenging to get cardio when you're stuck inside. Here are a few ways to get your heart rate elevated in the winter.
Jumping jacks are excellent for raising your heart rate indoors without having to get too crazy and cause a commotion. They're easy to do, but you can really work up a sweat doing jumping jacks. Even if you jump gently, you can easily reach your target heart rate. The tricky part might be doing it long enough to maintain your heart rate for 15 minutes. To break it up, try doing 30 jumping jacks and then without time to rest, do 10 push-ups or 10 crunches. Repeat this for 15 minutes. If you find that this is a routine you like, do it twice a day to meet the American Heart Association's recommendations for exercise to maintain a healthy heart.
Gimme A Beat
There are few cardio exercises that are as fun as dancing. If hosting a solo dance party isn't structured enough for you, try looking through YouTube for video tutorials on dance moves. There are hundreds -- if not thousands -- of instructional videos for just about any type of dance move you want to learn: hip hop, ballroom, two-stepping, ballet. It's all on the internet, and it's free! Of course, you can take the more social approach and sign up for a class, but YouTube videos are there if you don't want to brave the cold and snow.
Hula hooping is a great workout for a number of reasons, not just that you can do it indoors without flailing your arms and disrupting a calm environment. Hula hooping raises your heart rate and burns about 400 calories an hour, depending on how hard you hula. In addition to cardio and calorie burning, it works your legs by forcing you to shift your weight back and forth. Your arms also get plenty of work: keeping them raised to avoid touching the hoop requires endurance. If the hula hooping you did as a kid is boring for you, there are a lot of YouTube videos with creative hula hoop routines to make it interesting.
Kickstart My Heart
High knees are surprisingly difficult, but they really get your pumping. High knees means you're basically running in place, but you focus on lifting your knees as high as you can. Doing this by itself is effective, but it helps to mix it up. Try doing 10 high knees, then drop to the floor for 10 mountain climbers. For mountain climbers, get in a push-up position and then alternate bringing each knee to your chest like you're climbing a mountain horizontally. Try to do this for 15 minutes with minimal resting between exercises, as you don't want your heart rate to drop until you're done exercising. Like with jumping jacks, do this workout for 15 minutes twice a day to keep your heart healthy.
Jumping rope is a pretty effective workout all by itself. It works your legs, arms and heart. It's also easy to do without getting bored. The downside to jumping rope is that you need space to swing your rope. You may have to move the family room furniture to give you space like any other indoor exercise, but think about the space above you, too. It all depends on your height, but your ceilings should be 9 feet or higher to do it without hitting anything with your rope. But if you can swing it, the cardio effects of jumping rope are about the same as running.