Cardiovascular endurance or fitness is an indication of a person’s overall physical health - a measurement of how well your heart, lungs, and muscles work together to keep your body active over an extended period of time. It also promotes overall strength and health improvement, and it is considered to be a vital element to a good training routine.
Unlike high-intensity interval training, cardio training doesn’t need to last hours to receive all the benefits. In fact, some forms of cardio rely on specifically short workout sets. In general, 30-40 minutes of quality cardio training 3-4 times a week can make a big difference in increasing your cardiovascular endurance.
Today, I’ll be sharing some home cardiovascular endurance exercises you can do and their benefits.
Why Should You Do It?
By improving your cardiovascular fitness, you can reduce the risk of acquiring heart disease by developing your heart, lungs, and blood vessels’ efficiency. In addition, it also boosts your muscle’s ability to utilize oxygen, thus boosting metabolism and providing sufficient energy supply to fuel movement.
Cardio is not only for weight loss, especially since moving your body is great for so many aspects of your health. Doing cardio weekly or a few times a week is associated with a stronger immune system, better heart condition, improved sleep quality, and even improved mood. Not to mention stronger stamina and endurance.
Jumping jacks are a common beginner cardiovascular exercise that a person can perform literally anywhere. Almost, if not all people have probably done this exercise during their elementary and high school physical education class.
This exercise is a plyometric exercise, which means it is an explosive move that increases speed, quickness, and power. Thus, and they work your whole body. Jumping jacks are beneficial to your health because they combine cardiovascular conditioning with strength work. As you jump, you're working against gravity and using your body weight for resistance, which can improve the overall strength of your body.
How to do jumping jacks:
- Stand with your feet together, arms relaxed at your sides, and your core engaged.
- Raise the arms out to the sides, straight in the air while jumping out with the feet apart.
- Keep knees bent as you jump back softly on the balls of your feet and bring your arms back to the sides of your body.
- Do it for 30 seconds for 3 sets.
When you get the hang of it, you can increase the exercise intensity by jumping higher or faster and by doing it longer.
Not only is this an excellent cardiovascular exercise, but it also covers most of the benefits of cardio exercises which includes developing and improving lower body strength and power, as well as challenging dynamic stability and coordination.
How to do jumping lunges:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, your core engaged.
- Take a big step forward with your right leg, keeping your arms by your side. Then shift your weight forward with this leg, so your heel touches the floor first. Then lower your body until the forward leg is parallel to the floor.
- Now, explode by jumping up, quickly switching the position of your feet while mid-air so your right leg moves back behind you and your left leg comes forward. To help you move explosively, propel your arms into the air while you jump.
- Gently land back on the floor in a basic lunge position with the opposite leg forward.
- Repeat this pattern, switching legs on each jump. Beginners may aim for 5 to 10 repetitions on each leg or 30 seconds total. As this gets easier, work your way up to 60 seconds of continuous jumping lunges.
This exercise requires balance and strength, that’s why you have to be mindful of your form. If you think that jumping lunges are too much for you, you may opt to do a stationary forward and reverse lunge.
Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with the right foot, bending both the right and left knees to 90-degrees. Step back to the standing position and repeat on the other side. Next, step back for a reverse lunge on each leg. After mastering this movement, you may want to give jumping lunges another try.
Jumping rope is often considered the best cardio workout and is mostly used for boxing and cross-training by many athletes. You can do it almost anywhere with just a simple jump rope you can buy in various stores, which is why it is a great cardio workout at home. Did you know that if you jump rope for only 20 minutes, you can burn about 220 calories? That’s just one of the numerous benefits of jump rope.
Tips for good jump rope form:
- Stand with your shoulders relaxed and your feet hip-width apart.
- Keep your elbows close to your rib cage, hold the handles of your jump rope and stay relaxed.
- Make sure to use your wrists to turn the rope and not your elbows or shoulders.
- Bound lightly, jumping low, keeping your knees slightly bent, allowing your ankles, knees, and hips to flex on each landing.
- Jump for 3 minutes at a time, rest for a minute, and then jump for another 3 minutes. Gradually increase your jumping time.
If you wanna mix up your jumps with upbeat songs, these jump rope exercises are great ways to challenge yourself.
Exercise is an essential element of your overall health and wellness. If you are new to these exercises, remember to start slow. You can always build as your fitness level improves. Remember: Any movement is better than no movement.
Cardiovascular exercise is recommended for almost all groups of people, from kids to elders who have chronic health conditions. It is vital to work with your doctor to find what works best for you and is safe for your condition.
Lastly, most forms of cardio exercises put a lot of pressure and constant stress on the joints and muscles, so to avoid getting injured, always warm up. Also, take time to stretch, cool down, and give yourself a two thumbs up after your workout.