At home, a cardio workout is quickly becoming a good substitute for doing the same at your local Bally’s. Many people join a gym with good intentions but then use “the drive” as an excuse for not having time.
Once you add in a few cardio routines that you can do from the comfort of your own home, you will have removed one less roadblock to getting the body you want by still getting in a great workout even on the days you can’t make it to the gym.
So, let’s get straight to what cardio exercise means and exercises that fall under the classification of a cardio workout, along with discussing their advantages as well.
Cardio exercise is also referred to as aerobic exercise, which is defined as exercise that requires and improves the consumption of oxygen by our body, as opposed to anaerobic exercise, which involves strength and weight training and increasing one’s ability to exhibit short bursts of power as compared to achieving overall fitness by focusing on the former, and therefore being able to exhibit similar strength for a sustained period of time. (Say that 5 times fast!)
That actually means that aerobic exercise improves the intake and use of oxygen by the body, which means that this will increase the body’s metabolism as well, producing more energy. The heart is kept healthy by the oxygen that is pumped into it, and if aerobic exercise is performed regularly, it will result in excellent cardiovascular health.
Now that we understand the importance of cardio exercise, let’s also look at some advantages it brings.
Advantages of At Home Cardio
- Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration, to facilitate the flow of air in and out of our lungs
- Strengthening and enlarging the heart muscle, to improve its pumping efficiency and reduce the resting heart rate known as aerobic conditioning
- Toning muscles throughout the body
- Improving circulation efficiency and reducing blood pressure
- Increasing the total number of red blood cells in the body, facilitating transport of oxygen
- Improved mental health, including reducing stress and lowering the incidence of depression
For me personally, advantage number six was the most obvious benefit I received from doing aerobic exercise during my routine at home. There are some things that you begin to see improvements with right away. And I know that this is something people don’t want to admit so I felt that I should point it out anyways now that I feel great and know that it’s because of exercise that I have made so much progress.
In addition to being depressed, I was broke too so the exercises had to be cost-effective which involved the avoidance of purchasing expensive equipment that you would find in a gym.
And the perfect solution for this was to focus on cardio exercises, and then gradually progress to weight-training as well.
Some of the best cardio exercises are also the simplest ones:
- Running/ Jogging (on staircases as a variation)
- Lateral Box Shuffle
- Box Marches
- Jumping jacks
- Mountain Climbers
- Step Aerobics
This isn’t an exhaustive list, as there are a bazillion cardio exercises/ workouts that focus on different parts of your body, which you can perform at your own time and in the comfort of your own home without feeling embarrassed while doing them at a gym.
These can all be done with little or no equipment at all, so no more excuses!
What are some of your favorite at-home cardio workouts?
Dumbbell Workouts – 4 Tips to Avoid Injury and Embarrassment
Dumbbell Workouts – 4 Tips to Avoid Injury and Embarrassment
Learn the right technique:
When you lift weights, even if they’re light dumbbells, the wrong technique could cause sprains and muscle pulls. You may not be able to afford a personal trainer or even a gym membership, but there are websites that offer tutorials and tips on the right way to work out with dumbbells. You could also learn the right way to use dumbbells from friends and family members who are workout enthusiasts.
Don’t overdo the weight:
It’s ok to be enthusiastic and eager to work your muscles, but if you start out with the heaviest ones, you’re going to end up either dropping them on your feet or spraining a muscle trying to lift more than you can. So start out with the lightest dumbbells you can find before moving on to heavier alternatives.
Do the “drop set”:
If you’re working out with heavy dumbbells and cannot complete your reps because your muscles are aching, put them down and use a lighter pair that you have at hand. This prevents wear and tear and injury on your muscles.
Pick them up correctly:
When you’re picking up the dumbbells or laying them down, don’t bend from your waist down; instead, go into a half squat and lift them using your thighs for leverage. If you use your back, you could end up with a serious injury if the dumbbells are too heavy.
Choose dumbbell exercises that you’re comfortable with and which tone and strengthen the parts of your body that need firming up. Once you’ve learned a certain set of exercises, it’s easy enough to go through them for just 30 minutes or so every day. However, remember to follow the right safety measures when performing your dumbbell workouts; keep in mind the tips to avoid injury, which could put you out of action.
This guest post is contributed by Maryanne Osberg, who writes on the topic of RN to MSN Online Programs. She can be reached at mary.anne579(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
Kettlebell Weights – Even better than throwing ‘shit’ around…
It’s a tall order to be calm and dignified all the time. Obama spooks me out for this very reason. I’m not being judgmental of the man here but he’s really chilled out. Don’t suppose he has any moments when he throws things around because he’s just pissed like normal human beings.
Almost everyone of us have been in one of these episodes where you throw and break things because you’ve just about had enough. And you can only appease that anger by destroying some thing, regardless of who valuable it might be at the time…
While there are some of you who might deny being this way, there are those who are – and it’s time that you considered using kettlebells, if only to mimic the quick “throwing movements” that come with this form of exercise.
Kettlebell Weights – Even better than throwing
Even though most people think that kettlebell weights are the latest fitness fad, nothing can be further from the truth. Actually, Russians have been using them years together now, and which was passed on to the military and their Olympians as well.
Of course, Hollywood has taken this form of training and made the most of it and the list of names goes on – Lance Armstrong, Sylvester Stallone, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Lopez, the entire cast of “300” and the legendary Bruce Lee.
And not surprisingly, the US Secret Service and the US Navy Seals have taken it up in training as well.
But what you should keep in mind especially if you’re one of the try-anything types, this form of exercise is not for those with a strained back or shoulders or even a weak core.
One good reason for this is because it is vigorous exercise…
But for those of you who can (and should) take a shot at this type of training, you should know that you can train with these cannonball-like objects with increasing weights of 1/2 a pood (16 kg) such as 8kg, 16kg, 24kg, 32kg, 40kg and 48kg.
Just the mere mention of the word pood should tell you how rich in tradition this form of exercise really is… with its origins in Russia, of course, and yes… as old as vodka itself!
Kettlebell Weights Training: An Overview
Perhaps the best part about working with Kettlebells is that it mimics everyday movements as opposed to other workouts that you find these days. According to some people who have tried this workout, you’re done in 50 minutes or so, in comparison to those who pound away at those weights for two or three weights, way after your testosterone levels are depleted.
But what are the benefits, you might ask?
With a focus on strength, flexibility and cardiovascular training, need I say more?
If that’s not enough, the shoulders, lower back and legs get an excellent workout, thanks to even the most basic exercises such as the swing, snatch and clean & jerk which work on almost all muscles in the body.
And if you are interested, follow this link in order to know more about kettlebell exercises…
So much for being able to throw (your) weight around… huh?
Cardio Music – A Good Companion During Workouts?
For a while now, I’ve noticed that whenever I put on a football match or some music while writing, it seems to either help or speed up the process while not hampering quality.
In fact, football players in the United States have been known to listen to classical music while in practice sessions. As bizarre as that is, it not only helps athletes to focus and do well but also students as well as those who take exercise seriously.
Again this depends on the type of workout you choose – if it’s yoga, then the music is definitely Indian, if weights, then some rock would do just fine but if you’re into cardio, then there are digital tracks that one can obtain, and can be found in the genre of cardio music.
The Importance of workout
While anaerobic exercise is important for building strength and increasing energy which is usually built through exercises and that lasts for short bursts.
While men mostly fancy weight lifting, women enjoy a good cardio workout yet it must be said that both these types of workouts are necessary.
Almost anyone would know that cardio involves using the lungs for much longer than you would in weight training. Of course, whether you use a treadmill, stationary cycle, indoor rower or just jog in the neighborhood, this is cardio exercise and require one’s lungs to pump energy for you to last as long as you would.
And trust me, a little cardio music definitely helps in giving you that extra boost when you are exercising whether it’s cardio or even weight training, where one can use machines as well as dumbbells.
Interestingly, there’s also another form of exercise that combines both types: kettlebell weights. Yes, they combine the benefits of both cardio and weight lifting workouts.
Yet there’s nothing like using music to fuel you on when performing any of these workouts, and so let’s look at where we can find cardio music.
So,where Can One Find Cardio Music?
Of course, you can look for workout videos at your nearest store but if one looks over the internet, you will find a treasure trove of cardio music that you couldn’t even imagine.
For starters, if you don’t want to buy anything just yet, sample a few videos from Youtube. Here’s a video that I like very much… and just excellent for those who are into weight training.
Better still, you can look for articles over the internet and make a compilation of the best workout songs that will make you get up and want to put in a hard workout.
(Prior to this, I used tracks from an Israeli goa-cum-progressive trance band called Astral Projection, and workout to their music. And it worked, even though I workout at home.)
Finally, in your search over the internet, you will also find proper compilations at the various stores, like Amazon and so on and so forth. Remember to sample some of the tracks before purchasing it… or else you’ll waste your money and have to go through the process all over again.
So, what do you think about using cardio music in your workouts? Do you find it works? If so, feel free to share your thoughts, as to how they work as an excellent companion during your workouts.
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