You may have heard that doing aerobic or aerobic exercise is one of the best ways to keep your heart, lungs, and cardiovascular system healthy and strong.
However, finding time for the gym or even a trip to the local park can be a challenge when work and home responsibilities start to add up.
The good news? There is a growing list of exercises that are now considered “good cardio.” The best news? A number of these exercises are cardio exercises at home that you can do from the comfort of your own living space.
According to the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), adding more “daily” activities is a great way to get in some moderate-intensity training.
Dr. Ben Levine, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, agrees. In a recent blog post, he said, “I am often asked by my patients, ‘What is the best type of exercise for heart health?'” Here’s what I tell them: I don’t care what kind of exercise you do as long as you do something!
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that to ensure you get all the benefits of cardio exercise, your target heart rate should be 64%-76% of your maximum heart rate for moderate-intensity physical activity and 77%-93. % for vigorous physical activity.
Here are five at-home cardio exercises that can help you meet these guidelines, plus they’re affordable, don’t require travel time, and may even help you check off a few items from your weekly “to-do” list.
1. Jump rope
According to the NHLBI, just 15 minutes of jumping rope is considered a moderate-intensity workout.
One recent study of college-aged males was published in Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Technology found that the group that jumped rope twice a day for 12 weeks had orders of magnitude better oxygen uptake (known as VO).2 maximum score) than the control group that participated in its normal activities. This higher score indicates an improvement in levels of fitness and health, especially heart and lung health, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
2. Climbing stairs
If you have stairs leading to your apartment or inside your home, you’re in luck. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), carrying large amounts of groceries or other packages up the stairs can be considered a vigorous exercise. He recommends 75-150 minutes of this type of exercise or 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week in his publication, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
“Moving more and sitting less has enormous benefits for everyone,” HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar said in the introduction to the guidelines.
3. Cardio Yoga
While not all forms of yoga will give you an aerobic workout, HHS states that it does Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans More intense forms such as strength and vinyasa yoga are considered to be moderate intensity activities.
Yoga also strengthens muscles, and according to one study published recently in the Official Gazette Journal of family medicine and primary care. In fact, it was more effective than traditional aerobics and Zumba dance classes in lowering blood pressure.
The bottom line? “A regular exercise routine will help keep your heart healthy for years to come. Jogging, swimming, golfing, hiking, playing basketball, dancing, doing yoga – whatever you love to do,” Levine said.
4. House cleaning
Few people look forward to cleaning the house, but if you apply the right kind of elbow grease, it can double as a cardio workout. According to the NHLBI, washing windows or floors for 45-60 minutes provides a moderate level of aerobic exercise.
What’s more, a recent study published in Journal of the American Heart Association It found that older women who got in at least four hours a day of moving, including cooking and other household chores, had a 43% lower risk of heart disease and a 30% lower risk than women who exercised less than two hours a day. of this routine.
“The study shows that all movement is important for disease prevention,” said study first author Steve Nguyen, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Diego, Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health, when the study was published. “Spending more time in the motion of daily living, which includes a wide range of activities we all do while on our feet and out of our chairs, led to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Digging, moving plants, pulling weeds, shoveling and mowing can get your heart rate up and help you break a sweat. In fact, the American Heart Association considers gardening a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.
“Why does gardening appear to be so good for health? It combines physical activity with social interaction and exposure to nature and sunlight,” said Dr Richard Thompson, former president of the Royal College of Physicians, in a recent article in the Official Gazette. Journal of Clinical Medicine.
“Working in the garden restores dexterity and strength, and the aerobic exercise involved can easily use up the same number of calories that would be expended in the gym,” he added.
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