3 Heart-Pumping Cardio Exercises to Shake Up Your Fitness Routine
We all know how good cardio exercise is for your heart. Cardio increases heart rate, which in turn strengthens the muscles pumping blood in and out of your heart. This can lead to a stronger and more effective heart function with repeated and consistent practice.
The most popular and commonly recommended form of cardio is of course, running, but how many people find going for a daily jog monotonous and straining for your joints? There are many ways to break up tedious running routines with exercises that are both fun and effective. Making cardio an enjoyable activity motivates people to incorporate exercise into their regular routine. Here are three great running alternatives to shake up your fitness routine.
Top 3 Alternative Cardio Workouts
1. Jump Rope
Jumping rope isn’t just for the schoolyards anymore. It’s transformed into a legitimate fitness activity that works as an ultra-effective cardio option. The playful pastime of your childhood has the ability to burn as many calories as running, while also having the same heart rate accelerating capabilities. You can burn more than 200 calories in 20 minutes while getting the heart benefits of running.
Because of the nature of hopping, this exercise can also help strengthen leg and arm muscles while simultaneously strengthening the muscles in your heart. The duality of its benefits makes jump roping a holistically effective choice for people looking for high intensity cardio.
While immensely effective, it can also be hard on your joints due to the impact jumping and landing on your feet can have. It’s mostly recommended for people looking for high intensity workouts that don’t have any major joint or bone-related issues.
2. Bodyweight Exercises
This is a great option for someone looking to get not only a cardio workout, but someone wanting to strengthen specific muscles, build better posture, and enhance their flexibility. Strength-training exercises that focus on the core, legs or upper body can challenge you to perform effective and heart-pumping movements. Bodyweight moves such as squats, jumps, lunges, or burpees are excellent ways to get your heart racing with no equipment or gym needed. Truly, any fast-paced, repetitive movement will be good for your heart and cardiovascular system, so you might as well do it from the convenience of your own living room. Check out some fresh and invigorating moves to incorporate into your next workout.
3. Dance Workouts
Why run when you could be grooving instead? Dance-based workouts make cardio such a breeze that you might not even notice your heart pounding until afterwards. Established workout classes such as Zumba or Hip-Hop Jams have been extremely successful in recent years because the upbeat dancing makes working out less of a chore and more of a fun jam-session. Any type of dance, whether it is a sophisticated Waltz or Tango, or just a going-along-with-the-music freestyle, will offer you the same cardio benefits as running without the monotony. Another reason to consider dancing: You can jam out from the comfort of your own home. Can’t make it to a class, or embarrassed to dance in front of people? Check out some of 2019’s top dance workout videos.
Find the Right Cardio Workout For You
The key to staying motivated when it comes to exercising is to find a workout routine that you thoroughly enjoy. For many people, running doesn’t ignite any internal spark of interest or radical fun. Shake up your workout routine today with something new and exciting like jump rope, dance or bodyweight moves! For more heart-healthy tips about running and cardiovascular exercise, visit our blog today.