Cardio workouts promote blood circulation, increase your heart rate and metabolism, and help you burn excess calories. It’s an important part of your workout, but people typically love or hate cardio workouts. The good news is that it’s possible to get a quick cardio workout done—so even if you can’t stand the thought of a jog, you can still maintain your health. Just include these total-body quick cardio exercises in your normal routine!
Swimming works your entire body at once, making it an excellent quick cardio workout for those looking for options. Swimming laps in your pool works best when you count your stroke or kick cycles as you go (the sweep of each arm or kick of the leg equals one stroke cycle). After all, not all pools are the same length.
To add swimming to your regular cardio routine, try this structured routine.
Swim 12 stroke cycles at a slow pace to warm up. Then, swim six sets of 25 stroke cycles, taking a 30-second rest between sets.
Next, swim while resting your arms on a kickboard for 25 kick cycles with a 30-second rest between sets. This should accumulate to a total of four individual sets.
Continue with a renewed kickboard routine. Hold your kickboard between your legs and use only your arms to swim for six sets. Break this exercise down into 12 stroke cycles with a 20 second break between each set.
Try your best to swim at least three times per week. As your routine gets easier, take shorter rest periods and slowly increase your sets. You’ll find your endurance increases and it’s easier to finish your routine without being out of breath.
Dancing is an excellent workout for the heart, lungs, and muscles, and it keeps your workout fun, too. Best of all, you can do it at home or hit up your local gym to join a dance cardio class to get started.
A few crucial tips for would-be dancers; your outfit really matters, and not in the way you might think. You must wear comfortable gym shoes and clothing for best freedom of movement. You will be dancing for 20 to 45 minutes; heavy street clothing will make that experience uncomfortable. It’s also a good idea to tie your hair back before you start.
Station yourself to the back of the room so you have plenty of people to watch as you’re learning if you're concerned about falling behind.
If you want to learn a few of the most common moves on your own, or if you want to exercise at home on a daily basis, stream dance cardio workouts to your computer or TV and follow along. Netflix and YouTube have several excellent options available from anywhere with an internet connection. Alternatively, you can also watch celebs dance in music videos to upbeat music. Then, create your own dance workout.
Need an example of a dancing video? A Zumba instructor created Victoria Justice’s dance routine to the song “Shake.” Dancing videos are great examples of quick cardio workouts.
Your cardio workouts don’t have to be long and boring to be effective. Everything from riding a bicycle to hiking falls under this category, so don't be afraid to mix it up and keep things interesting. Once you find a quick cardio workout you enjoy that gets you up and moving, make it a regular part of your everyday workout routine.