Home workout cardio is a great solution for those of us who never find the time to hit the gym or neighboring joggers’ parks. Still, many tend to equate cardio exercise with gym exercises like running on the treadmill, peddling on stationary exercise bikes, pounding away on the elliptical machine, and spending one soul crushing hour after another on the infernal stepper. But, cardio exercise is simply about elevated heart rate, sustained activity, and set time durations. Chalk home workout cardio routines for yourself and you’ll feel pumped and fit in no time. Let’s take a look at what these home workout cardio exercises are…

What is cardio-respiratory fitness? Essentially the optimal working of the circulatory and respiratory systems, cardio-respiratory fitness involves elevated heart rate, sustained activity, lung power and healthy blood stroke volume. In layman’s terms, cardio fitness requires any activity that increases your heart rate and sustains it over a certain time duration.

Since cardio-respiratory fitness is one of the five crucial fitness components, it’s important to master the art of home workout cardio.
Home workout cardio for beginners: Since the objective is to sustain an elevated heart rate over a fixed time duration, set yourself achievable targets within time durations like 10, 15, 20, and 30 minutes. If you are new to exercise, then start small. And add a couple of minutes each week. An average, seemingly healthy person with no history of debilitating conditions can pull off 20-30 minute home workout cardio sessions. These sessions can include:

Walking on the spot
Light spot jogging
Step ups
Light jumping jacks with bent knees
Single front kicks with bent knee
Continue each exercise for 45-60 seconds per bout, or 1-3 sets of 12 reps each, before moving on to the next one. Repeat circuit till you complete the time duration you’ve select, ex: 20 minutes.

Home workout cardio for fairly fit individuals: You fit into this bracket if you are accustomed to running, cycling or skipping. To switch over to home workout cardio, you can select a time duration of 30-45 minutes per cardio session. Exercises include:
Jumping jacks
Squat thrusts
Mountain climbers
Fast knee raises
Switch kicks
Make sure your knees are bent for most of the exercises. Complete 60 second bouts per exercise, before moving to the next one. Start with rest intervals of 15-30 seconds in between exercises. Then rest for 30-60 seconds after each circuit is complete. Repeat circuit till your home workout cardio session’s time is complete.

Advanced fitness enthusiasts can practice home workout cardio exercises such as power jumps, squat kicks, switch skipping (single foot skipping), exaggerated squat thrusts and long swing mountain climbers.

Important note: Cardio is just one part of exercise for overall fitness. Do not use these home workout cardio exercises as a stand alone workout. Stay tuned for a second post on home workout weight exercises to include other fitness components such as muscle strength and endurance.

Remember to warm up through simple movements like spot jogging for about 7 minutes before each session. Ensure that you sip one or two mouthfuls of water every 3-5 minutes, as required, and don’t forget to stretch once cooling down. There you have it – no more juggling that boss with the gym machines. Take home workout cardio into your own hands, and watch your body get fitter every month.

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