Cardio at home for adults and kids
Cardio is beneficial, both mentally as well as physically. This article explores great exercises to do at home, from fun cardio for kids to cardio for beginners, varying in intensity.
7 cardio exercises to do at home
Try these seven cardio exercises at home at a level of intensity that suits you. You may find that you start slowly and work up to doing the full move. Listen to your body and work at the level that feels right.
Each exercise comes with a recommended time frame. For a good workout, pick and choose at least four of the below exercises. Depending on what you have in your home, you could aim to do a circuit of each exercise once. And if you really want to push yourself, try to do two rounds.
1. The stairs
Walk up and down the stairs for three minutes, rest for one minute, and repeat as many times as you can. For a harder workout, increase your pace so that you are running up and down the stairs for at least three minutes.
When it comes to skipping, keep both your elbows tucked in, and relax your shoulders. To increase the difficulty level, hop instead of jump. Move for 30 seconds, stop for 30 seconds and repeat as many times as you can.
3. Fast feet with punches
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees slightly and raise your arms so your hands are level with your chin. Form fists and start running on the spot as hard as you can while punching the air quickly, one arm at a time. To lower the intensity, walk on the spot while punching. Move for 30 seconds, stop for 30 seconds and repeat three or four times.
4. Toe taps
Put a sturdy object such as a dumbbell or book in front of you and stand up straight in front of it. Rest your weight on the left foot, keeping it rooted to the ground. Raise and tap your right foot on the raised object and then switch feet. Tap slowly for low impact or jump and tap to increase the intensity. Repeat for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat three more times.
5. Standing toe touches
Stand up straight, move your weight onto your left leg, and kick out your right leg, keeping it as straight as possible. Touch your right leg with your left hand, aiming to reach your ankle if possible. Then switch legs and repeat on the other side. Move for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
6. Jumping jacks
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slightly bend your knees. Jump moving your feet away from each other and bring your arms above your head and then jump again, bringing your feet back to their original position with your arms by your sides. Repeat ten times then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.
7. Squat jumps
Get into a squat position, put your hands in front of you and jump up, landing back how you started. To make it harder, place your hands behind your head or touch the ground when you squat. Move for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
More at-home circuits and HIIT are available here.
Cardio exercise at home for beginners
You can start your beginner cardio workout routines at home with these simple exercises.
1. Mountain climbers
Start in a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists and straighten your legs so you’re on your toes. Bring one knee to your chest, squeeze and release that leg to its original position. Repeat on the other side. Move for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
Stand up, feet together, and put your hands on your hips. Step your left foot forward and bend the knee, keeping the right leg straight. Push away on your left foot to bring it back to the right foot. Repeat on the other side. Move ten times.
3. Hurdle hops
Stand up tall with your feet together. Place a belt next to your right foot. Jump from one side of the belt over to the other side with your feet together. Alternatively, walk over the belt from side to side, lifting your knees high. Move for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
4. High knees
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your left knee as high as you can and then put your foot quickly back on the ground. Repeat on the opposite side. Move for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
5. Spot jog
Stand up straight and begin running or walking on the spot depending on the intensity you want to go for. Move for 60 seconds and rest.
30-minute cardio at home
If you’re short on time, here is a great cardio workout at home that takes just 30 minutes.
March in place for five minutes
Walk up and down the stairs for five minutes
20 jumping jacks
100 skipping rope jumps
20 high knees
20 fast feet with punches
20 toe taps
10 mountain climbers
2-minute spot jog
March in place for five minutes
Kids cardio at-home
Kids have plenty of energy and doing some fun cardio with the family will help to entertain them and keep them active at the same time. This helps to strengthen their bones and muscles while learning a great lifestyle habit, meaning they’ll have better chances of being healthy adults.
Cardio doesn’t have to involve workouts with exercises, either – you can raise their heartbeat by doing something they enjoy or turning it into a game.
Here are some kids’ cardio ideas to try:
Put your kids’ favourite music on and let their feet do the rest. Dancing is not only fun but a great workout, too. Let loose and see what shapes you can make!
2. Musical chairs
Clear a room or put chairs in the garden and make sure there’s one less chair than players. Play music, dance or hop around the chairs, and when the music stops, the one without a chair sits the next round out. Play until you have a winner!
3. The shuffle
Everyone starts on one side of a room next to the wall, then bending their knees, shuffle carefully over to the other side of the room. The winner is whoever gets to the other side first without breaking their stance.
Teach them to listen to their bodies, how to increase flexibility and meditate with yoga at home for kids.
Doing cardio exercises at home can be challenging at first, but you will increase your fitness faster than you realise. And it doesn’t need loads of equipment – just you and a little space can do wonders for your health!