However, as summer approaches, many people will start to prepare for fitness activities outside again. Sports like running, cycling and swimming can be taken out of the gym and back into the sunshine. In the meantime, you could try some of these alternative workouts on equipment in the comfort of your home, to either start getting into better cardio shape today or maintain and improve the fitness you've already achieved.
1. Get on the Treadmill
The treadmill is one of the easiest ways to keep your cardio training hours up, regardless of weather conditions. After all, one of the most popular and convenient forms of cardio is running. This is an easy-to-learn cardio activity that helps to improve both heart and bone health whilst burning kilojoules fast. For those looking for a low-impact alternative to running on a treadmill, power walking on inclines is also a very effective cardio workout, especially when combined with HIIT training.
2. Try Out Some Rowing
Using a rowing machine is a great way to improve your overall health, plus it's easy for all ages and fitness levels. Mimicking the motion of rowing a boat in water, it's also a more low-impact alternative to running in the sense that it puts less strain on your legs. Rowing is also great for muscle building in the back, shoulders and abdomen. Best of all, the adjustable resistance on most rowers lets you easily work up to your target heart rate as well as slow back down to your resting rate.
3. Step on the Elliptical
Elliptical trainers can be forgiving to ageing joints while giving you a good aerobic workout and help you burn calories for weight loss. What makes an elliptical trainer unique is the combined upper and lower body workout, which is hard to find in cardio equipment without adding weights or bands. In fact, there is no other fitness equipment that simultaneously works as many muscle groups than the elliptical.
4. Ride on the Exercise Bike
Riding a stationary bike can help build strength in your legs and lower body, especially if you use a higher resistance. The pedalling action can help strengthen your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. The exercise bike has also long been used for physical therapy because of the low-impact, safe, and effective cardiovascular exercise it provides for those recovering from injury.
5. Take up Boxing
It's well known that boxing is an excellent way of relieving stress. However, did you know that punching your problems away in HIIT boxing workouts is also a brilliant cardio session? You can spar with a partner, go solo with a punching bag or even air punch gloveless. Once summer rolls around, you can join boxing workout classes in shaded park areas or even on the beach, always a wonderful way to meet new friends too.
Remember, if you're new to fitness or coming back from an exercise hiatus, try to take it slow initially. It takes time for your body to build strength and endurance. Happy cardio training!