Creative Ways to Get in Cardio

Written by Stephanie Dane

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In the mere chaos of life – work, kids, cooking, cleaning, errands – sometimes it seems impossible to squeeze anything more into the day than we already do. Sometimes a trip to the gym isn’t even an option.

Other days we find a smidge of time for ourselves to get it in; and I’m not sure about you, but I always leave feeling grateful, empowered, and without regrets.

But, what do we do on those days where we simply can NOT make it to the gym, can NOT head out for a long walk or run, can NOT make it to our regular fitness class?

Is it possible – and even worth it – to try squeezing in a few tiny 5-10 minute cardio sessions throughout our day?

Will we reap any benefits of doing so? Or are we better just skipping all efforts and “hoping” we can fit a “real” workout in the following day?

Good New Ladies! 

As long as you’re moving, you’re elevating your heart rate, keeping your muscles engaged and metabolism stoked. And all of these factors equal calories burned. Every effort counts and should be celebrated.
5 minutes is better than no minutes.
10 minutes is better than 5.
Squeeze in what you can and you may need to break up this workout to a few small sessions throughout the day. Do what works for your schedule.

So, for those days when you just can’t squeeze in a “real workout”, here are some creative ways to get your cardio in.

This workout requires no equipment, so it truly can be done anywhere!

Two Options for Completing this Cardio Workout:

If you have 30-consecutive minutes:
Perform the warm-up (yes, this is just as important as the rest of the workout, don’t skip it!) Immediately move into the main circuit, performing exercise as fast as possible for 30 seconds to 1 minute, without resting between moves. Upon finishing the full circuit, rest for 1 minute, and then repeat the main circuit (no warm-up) 2 to 3 more times. A cooldown helps regulate blood flow, prevents injury, and improves flexibility (so don’t skip that either!)

If you only have 5-10 minutes:

Perform the warm-up for 1 minute. Select 1-2 moves, performing each as fast as possible for 30 seconds to 1 minute, without resting between moves. Cool down for 1 minute.

*If you have a few extra minutes later in the day, choose another 1-2 exercises to perform!

  • Warm Up: Air Squats
  • Reverse Lunges
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Glute Bridges
  • Knee Highs
  • Jump Squats
  • Plank Arm Raises
  • Side Plank
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Skier Jumps
  • Push Ups – (perform girl version/on knees if needed)
  • Stair Climb – run up a flight of stairs as quickly as you can, walking back down.
  • Cool-Down: Butterfly or Standing Quad Stretch

This fast and effective circuit will leave you feeling energized and empowered throughout your day.

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