The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association state that there's a relationship between physical activity and health. To put it plainly, when you work out, your health improves. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires a minimum of 30 minutes per day, five days per week of moderate-intensity cardio activity, such as aerobics. Alternatively, try high-intensity cardio activity for 20 minutes per day, three days a week. It may be hard to find time for a workout in your daily schedule, but you can save a trip to the gym by performing cardio workouts at home.
Aerobic Step Training
For an intense cardio workout requiring minimal space and equipment, try aerobic step training, which combines high-intensity exercise with music. Step to the beat in a rhythm of choreographed movements. One benefit of aerobic step training is that everyone can enjoy the workout, from beginner steppers to advanced users. Purchase a video and an aerobic step riser to begin improving your cardiovascular health.
Whether you're a beginner or an expert, aerobic dancing is a home cardio workout sure to please. Dance aerobics incorporates cardio exercise with music resulting in an intense dance-like workout. Dance aerobics are offered widely through video and require minimal space. The Physical Education and Sport Journal studied 46 women engaging in dance aerobics for 40 minutes a day, three days a week for three months. The results yielded a positive correlation between aerobic dance and improved body composition plus cardiovascular endurance.
Impact Circuit Training
Impact circuit training provides a creative twist on a cardio workout. Rather than engage in a lengthy and repetitious exercise, impact circuit training focuses on a combination of high-impact, three-minute workouts with minimal resting in between. An average session lasts between 40 and 50 minutes and can include a variety of mini-workouts such as pushups, situps, jumping rope, striking, jogging and crunches. According to Marc Joseph LeFleche, who researched the effect of impact circuit training on high school students, the multi-cardio workouts yielded positive results. Participants who engaged in intense physical activity felt a sense of accomplishment and stated that the workout's creativity made the experience fun.
A study in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance revealed that cardio kickboxing is an effective method to heighten and maintain cardiovascular fitness. Kickboxing for one hour burns an additional 350 to 450 calories and raises your heart rate to help you burn fat. This caloric consumption is similar to an hour of mild jogging, except you never have to leave the house.
- Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise: Physical Activity and Public Health: Updated Recommendation for Adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association
- The American College of Sports Medicine: Effects of Aerobic-Step Trainings on Body Composition, and Physiological and Psychological Characteristics of Healthy Women
- Physical Education and Sport: Changes in the Cardiovascular Fitness and Body Composition of Women Under the Influence of the Aerobic Dance
- Strategies: Impact Circuit Training in High School
Dr. Kimberly Perkins is a seasoned leader in health care administration with experience in independent, assisted, skilled nursing, critical access, rural health, and memory care services. Perkins has performed in a music video by the Assisted Living Federation of America. Having lived as an undercover nursing home resident, she understands firsthand how to provide care to those in need.