Keeping our body healthy and fit is one of the most important things that we all must prioritise. Talking about health, of course we all may want to think about eating the right kind of food or the healthy food matters most. But when it is about health and fitness or weight loss, you cannot discount the fact that exercising every day and doing the right kind of exercise should be your top priority. In this regard, cardio workouts are almost considered an essential workout strategy for everyone. That being said, strength training is important too and for that you have the bodyweight exercises. Combine the above two and you have a killer work-out plan for you!
What are Cardio workouts and Why You Should Be Doing Them?
To put it in simple words, cardio exercises are those exercises that race your heart beat. Now, we all should understand the basic fact of life – we all were made to be physically active. Our bodies are typically designed to move and not to be dormant. Hence, to keep our muscles in shape and to keep them healthy, just the way they are meant to be, we must keep them moving. With the best cardio workout, you ensure that you give your muscles the required amount of movement so that they are stronger and more efficient in their functioning.
Just like any other muscle of your body, your heart is a muscle too. Therefore, there is a good need for the cardiovascular exercise so that your heart muscle gets the exercise that it needs. When your heart gets the right amount of exercise, the capillaries deliver more oxygen to the cells in your muscles and this basically enables you to burn more fat while you exercise. That being said, with a good cardio workout plan, you can actually not just stay healthy and increase height but also aim at cardio for weight loss.
The best cardio exercises use large muscle movements that are spread across a constrained time limit, thereby keeping your heart rate at a level of at least 50% of its maximum level. Cardio workouts could range from anything simple to more complex. Walking, running, bike riding, swimming and aerobics workouts are all forms of cardio exercises.
When you perform a cardiovascular exercise or for that matter any exercise, it should cause moderate sweating. If you are able to talk through your exercise, may be you can step up but if you aren’t able to complete one sentence while working out then you are definitely going too hard! A good cardio workout plan can be about 20 minutes of continued elevated pulse, thrice a week – that should give you great results.
Benefits of Cardio Exercises
When you are leading a rather sedentary lifestyle, it is your body that gets the worst impact. Have you ever felt tight muscles or an aching back? Do you feel exhausted though you might be questioning yourself why as you haven’t really done anything physically tiresome? Or do you have the constant headache when you look at your computer screen? This is the impact of your day on your body.
When you perform bodyweight exercises, your muscles turn warm and flexible. This reduces the muscle aches. The cardio workouts ensure a proper blood flow in the body and therefore you will not feel tired or have that persistent headache. Because there is enough blood pumped, there is more oxygen supply; you feel more energised, relaxed and confident.
Weight loss is another important benefit. Of course, you have to eat right for weight loss but right exercises are equally important. These are just some of the benefits of a good cardio workout plan. Here are the other benefits that you can derive if you ensure that you perform cardio exercises regularly –
- You can make weight loss a more feasible goal
- When you want to lose arm fat or belly fat, these exercises can be helpful
- You will have a stronger heart and a stronger pair of lungs
- There will be increase in the bone density which means you will be less prone to orthopaedic problems
- Cardiovascular exercise can help reduce stress as well as risk of heart diseases and a few types of cancers
- You get temporary relief from depression and anxiety
- Bodyweight workouts can also boost your confidence levels and make you feel good about how you look
- When you want to sleep better, good exercising helps a lot
- Exercising is essential for a more energized and active you!
Why Does Your Body Need Bodyweight Workouts?
Cardiovascular exercise is good for your health as it keeps your blood flow at an efficient level. With bodyweight exercises, your fitness and physical strength is guaranteed. From flexibility to overall strength and physical health, these exercises promise to keep you looking young always. There are several benefits too that can actually inspire you to work-out regularly with the bodyweight or strength training. Here are the benefits –
- Bodyweight workouts generally do not involve any equipment. This makes it quite easy to transition from one move to another giving you an overall efficient fitness plan.
- Bodyweight circuit training can have a major impact on weight loss. These exercises speed up your metabolism and make you lose fat quick.
- These exercises can be quite a motivation to the beginners as well as the obsessed workaholics because these can be easily modified to be made more challenging by adding just a few more reps or by taking shorter breaks.
- If core strength is your aim, you are on bull’s eye with your bodyweight strength training.
- Because it is easy to mix up with other work-out plans, you will never get bored.
- Lastly, your flexibility is improved to a large extent with these exercises.
The 12 Best Cardio Based Bodyweight Exercises You should Try For Sure!
There is a general misconception among people about the best cardio workouts and bodyweight exercises. Yes, you can definitely get the most benefit with the treadmill or the stationery bike and the regular push-ups and the pulls but wait, there are several more interesting and fun ways to make cardio exercises fun and challenging. Now, we know that both cardio and bodyweight exercises are great for us. It would be no exaggeration to say that a combination of these both would definitely be the ultimate thing for our fitness.
Here are some of the good cardio-based bodyweight exercises or cardio for weight loss that you should definitely try –
Let’s begin with the warm-up exercises –
Did you think skipping is only for kids? If you thought so, you didn’t know that skipping can be one of the best warm-up exercises that can be great for flexibility. One of the best bodyweight exercises, skipping is best done by raising your right knee up to your hip and reaching your left arm overhead. While doing that, you will land on the floor one the ball of your left foot. This move continues with alternate limbs. An ideal count would be 10 to 15 skips with letting your legs go as high up as you can.
Your staircase can be your best cardio equipment. One of the best cardio workouts is to perform the stair climb exercise. It is hence often recommended by most health experts to reduce usage of elevators and opt for the staircase instead. This is simple – justly briskly walk up and down the stairs till your start to sweat. This is a great way to race your heart.
For Full-Body Exercises –
It’s great to be a kid again, right? This bodyweight exercise lets you do just that. You will have to stand tall, keep your knees slightly bent and then lift yourself up by bringing your knees into your chest and throwing your arms up in the air. Then lower your arms when you are about to touch the floor. About 8 to 10 such jumps are a good count.
To perform this exercise, you need to first get into a low squat position. Keep your hands on the floor and your feet back in a push-up position. Then, quickly return to the start squat position. To make it more interesting, you can jump up as high as you can before squatting down again and jump back into the push-up position.
This move is similar to the above but a little more advanced. In this move, once you reach the push-up position, perform the push-up before you return to the squat. Repeat this for about 8 times.
For Legs Exercises –
Lateral Step Over
This is good exercise to perform at a park. Look for a park bench. Move towards its side and bring your right knee up to the bench to make your leg step on it without really stepping on it. This implies, you don’t pass on your body weight entirely on your right leg. Now lift your left leg to meet the right and move the step moves for a good 15-20 reps.
Get yourself a sturdy box. The box should be high enough that you land on top of it with some effort. For the box jump move, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and jump with all your might onto the box. Repeat the move for 6 to 10 times.
To start this exercise, first get into the regular bodyweight squat exercise form. Once you do that, jump up immediately at the bottom of the squat with your arms extended overhead. Aim for at least 10 reps.
Lunges are always fun. Start this exercise by standing with your feet together and then lunging the right foot forward and bending the knee at 90 degrees. Then jump up and while you do that, switch your legs in the air. This is way more fun. Try to get about 8 to 10 reps.
For Arms and Core Exercises:
Jumping Jack Planks
Planks are an interesting workout for everyone, whether a beginner or a pro. Start with the traditional, basic plank but keep your feet together. Now, perform jumping jacks with your legs; move your legs to the sides and get them back together alternatively. This should be a good cardio exercise!
For the flutter kick exercise, lie down on your back, keep your arms on your sides and your legs extended out. Lift your heels off the floor for about 6 inches and begin kicking up and down. This exercise keeps your core engaged and is great for strengthening your arms.
One of the most popular exercises, the bicycle move requires you to lie down on your back with your knees folded towards your chest. Keep your hands behind your head. Now bring your right elbow to your left knee while you also straighten your right leg. Alternate with the limbs and pedal for 30 reps.
Cardio Based Bodyweight Workouts for a Better Quality of Life!
We all know how important it is to look good. When we look good, we feel better and more confident. That’s where exercising should actually take a front seat. When you exercise and particularly when you perform these bodyweight exercises, your entire body is toned and looks in perfect alignment. Weight loss poses becomes a reality. This makes your entire personality look impressive. Moving around and being physically active will ensure there is an increased blood flow to your muscles. This strengthens your heart, lungs and makes your heart stronger. All of this contributes to a better quality of life.
How Can You Motivate Yourself To Exercise Daily?
There is one thing that can be said about any daily activity. It tends to become monotonous after a certain time. With bodyweight workouts and cardio exercises too, you may feel the same at some point of time. But there are strategies that you can adopt to ensure that you can adopt to ensure you motivate yourself. Of course, you can create an interesting routine but to be more specific, here is what you can try –
Keep your routine simple.
We all love things that come easy. We humans are made that way. Anything that is too complicated and complex makes us look elsewhere. So, keep your exercise routine simple. Do the basics until you start loving the whole idea of working out. As a matter of fact, cardio workouts are all simple exercises. Start with the minimum time too. 20 minutes is your body’s essential requirement so start at that and then you can always extend your time and your exercising prowess.
Be patient with yourself.
Another important thing here. Don’t overestimate your time and underestimate your commitments. Make your cardio workout plan considering your present situation. If you can work-out three days a week, plan for that. But if you end up planning for five days but are able to live up to your plans for only three days, it is a big demotivating factor!
A good change is always welcomed. Give yourself that. When you are regularly exercising inside your home or a gym, bring about a change; go outside. Smell the fresh air, enjoy the goodness of environment and nature while you do your best cardio exercises. Set up a day in a week when you and your partner can together go out for best cardio workout – now, wouldn’t that be great?
Are You Doing Your Cardio workouts Right? – The Top Fixes
Cardio based bodyweight exercises can be very good for your body and health but anything done the wrong way can be more dangerous. So, here are some tips to ensure that you don’t go wrong with your cardio exercises and of course, the bodyweight workouts too.
** When you are using the treadmill, there is a lot of bouncing up and down. Make sure that your head remains relatively level while you are using the treadmill. This will ensure that you don’t tire yourself too much and get a bad joint ache. Holding the handlebar firmly and keeping your upper back still can be effective here.
** With the stationary bike, the most common problem is the seat being too high or too low. A low seat can cause fatigue to the legs and stress out the knees while a high seat can impact your hips. Make sure to adjust the seat always before you start your workout.
Can You Do Cardio Workout At Home?
Cardio workouts are perhaps the most simplest of all exercises that you can perform. The best part of the performing these exercises, as is evident, is the fact that you need no equipment. All you need to do cardio is you, yourself!
This is the reason why cardio workout at home or office or anywhere is very much feasible. Just get into your tracks and get the jumping jack in you on the power on mode. And, why tracks? Even if you are at your workplace or enjoying a leisure walk down the beach, brisk up and you are getting the benefits of cardio. It can’t get better than this, isn’t it?