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cardio

How to get your cardio in at home

After a good cardio workout, you need to keep burning fat long after sitting back on the couch, taking it easy or at your desk working. 

According to Burn360, with an efficient routine comprising: the right cardio exercises at the right time of day for up to 30 minutes, using bodyweight and free weights, it is possible to build muscle that will keep you burning off the fat long after you’ve exercised.

And that is the key, right from the start, once you’ve added about 1 kg of muscle where the resistant flab on your arms, belly and thighs used to be, you’ll be able to burn nearly 3000 kilojoules in after-burn a week, and that’s when you’re resting. That is equivalent to 6 kilograms of fat a year – the weight of a pocket of potatoes. 

So building muscle with exercises that keep you moving for 30 minutes a day max will help you achieve a level of fitness that endows you with a better quality of life for as long as possible.  

Benefits of cardiovascular exercises

The aim is to choose aerobic-type exercises that increase your heart and breathing rates, increasing your level of cardiovascular endurance. 

According to WebMD, these are the benefits you get from doing aerobic exercises, 3 to 7 days a week, up to 30 minutes a day: you lower your risk for developing diseases such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, some types of cancer and stroke. 

You can expect your muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones to strengthen, your lungs to work better, the heart to pump efficiently with more blood being pumped, improved blood volume and delivery system, your resting heart rate is lowered, and your body is better able to convert fat to use as energy. 

Cardio exercises

You can do cardiovascular exercises anywhere, such as your home, garden or park. 

The ideal is to spend at least 150 to 300 minutes a week on cardio exercises, using whatever equipment comes to mind, from your body weight to free weights or even bottles filled with water or a bag of potatoes.

Firstly, choose exercises that you feel comfortable with, perform each routine for 45 to 60 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and then move on to the next exercise.

You can build up to greater intensity levels for longer times and more repetitions in time. The more you build up, the more you will gain in strength and endurance. 

Here are some muscle-making and fat burning exercises recommended by Medical News Today to get you started and keep you going: 

  • To warm up, do some stretches and march in place, lifting those knees as high as possible. This elevates the heart rate. A warm-up should be about 5 minutes. 
  • Jogging in place is also an excellent warm-up exercise and pushes up the heart rate. You may want to hold some weights in your hands as you bounce from side to side.
  • Stair climbing wherever you go, avoid the lifts and escalators and climb those stairs. The ideal is to find a couple of flights of stairs and go up and down several times.
  •  Skipping with a rope or air skipping are variations on the theme of jogging on the spot.
  • Single leg stands are suitable for working abdominal muscles. You stand your feet together, bending your knees slightly and then lift each leg as high you can go, alternating from one leg to the other. With practice, you should work up to hopping from one side to the other. 
  • Arm circles which you can do seated, move your arms clockwise and then anti-clockwise
  • Other exercises to add as you go along include; jumping jacks, squat jumps, lunges, planks, trunk rotation and push-ups.

During your workout, be sure to have sufficient water breaks to avoid dehydration. And 5 to 10 minutes before the end of your session, slow down gradually with simpler stretches or slow marches so that you can cool down.

Low impact cardio

For those who are worried about injury to their joints, low impact cardio has all the benefits of moderate or high-intensity cardio workouts but is gentler on the joints. This is ideal for older people or people with bone health issues. 

Low-impact cardio says Sweat.com has the same benefits of raising heart rate and working your muscles but without placing stress on your joints that you get from high impact training, such as jumping squats, skipping or running.

Ideal exercises include: walking 6000 steps at a pace of your choice or Vinyasa–style yoga. While rowing, swimming, cycling outdoors or on a stationary bike, walking and using ellipticals are all excellent because they work the entire body. 

Also, all of these can all be paired well with high-intensity interval cardio fat loss protocols whereby you go really fast for 30 seconds and then slow down for 45 seconds and repeat a few times. 

Affinity Health makes affordable healthcare available to all South Africans with healthcare plans designed to suit your health and financial needs.

We are passionate about quality healthcare. Using our expertise we have designed a range of options, including Day-to-Day and Hospital plans.

 

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