Cardio is not something that everyone wants to do, but it is something that everyone should do. No matter your fitness level, you should have some sort of cardio exercises that you enjoy doing. Cardio is extremely important to our cardiovascular health, stamina, endurance and just overall health and happiness as a person. Everyone can do some sort of cardio activity, it might just be the problem of finding something that is right for you.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity broken up throughout the week. That means in a 7-day week, to fit in 21 minutes of exercise, or 30 minutes for 5 days a week. If you are aiming to lose a significant amount of weight, you will want rest and recovering days as well as helping you to avoid a stall or plateau.
Improving your cardiovascular health not only helps you physically, but mentally as well. Exercise has been linked to improved moods and decreased depression and anxiety.
5 Easy Cardio Exercises for Beginners
Swimming. With the summer months speedily approaching us, I would suggest swimming. There is nothing more fun on a hot summer day than to jump in the water and swim. This is an activity that is easy on your joints because of its low impact. If you’re swimming for 30 minutes straight you will feel this in your muscles later in the evening. This is a full body workout that helps improve not only on your tan, but your muscle groups and cardiovascular health. Overall this is a great way to get cardio in without even aiming for it.
Dancing. Everyone loves to shake what their momma gave em, even you! This is something that can be done virtually anywhere of comfort. I dance in the kitchen with my kids watching and laughing at me while I cook or do dishes. I dance with the broom while I sweep the floors, and I even dance at the grocery store. This is one of those feel good for your soul activities that even those without rhythm (like me) completely enjoy doing. It is also something you don’t really count the time with, just get up and dance!
Kickboxing. Yes, a beginner can kickbox! Kickboxing is a high intensity activity that really gets your heart pumping, even hitting peak targeted heartrate zones. This can be done from the comfort of your own living room or backyard if you’re wanting to improve that tan and really get sweating. Trust me when I say you’ll lose track of time while kickboxing. You’ll focused on learning combos and learning how to pivot your feet and roll your hips and before you know it, an hour has gone by. Not to mention after you finish a kickboxing workout, you feel like a badass!
Mow the lawn. Yep! I said it! Mow the damn lawn. It takes about 30 minutes of pushing, pulling and moving for you to mow the lawn. You’ll get to enjoy the outdoors, soak up some sun and get your workout in! You’re killing two birds with one stone in this great outdoor activity.
Play with your kids. I don’t mean sit down and color or put together Legos. I mean play hide-and-seek, tag, run through sprinklers or go for a nice walk around the neighborhood. This means not only are you getting yourself in healthier shape, but you’re also spending quality time with your children and getting them to be active as well. That is a win-win in my book. I take two walks with my kids every day, once in the morning before the sun is beaming like a violent angry fireball and then once after dinner but before bath and bedtime! We all have fun, see and discover new things in the area and even the dog loves it!
These activities are fun, and out of the box from your typical cardio exercises that everyone else recommends. Of course, walking, riding bikes, rowing, climbing stairs are all exercises that you can do as well. But for a beginner, I believe finding the joy in the activity is where the longevity stems from. Its where you end up falling in love with your new lifestyle changes and practice maintaining them.