If you are looking for good cardio workouts to help boost your cardiovascular health, fitness and more, you are in the right place. Whether you’re an absolute beginner (read our guide to running tips for beginners (opens in new tab)Here) or a workout pro, Cardio Workout Research has found that cardio workouts promote heart health, metabolism, and more.
Short for cardiovascular workout (yes, they get your heart pumping) and otherwise known as aerobic exercise, a cardio workout is essentially any session that gets your heart rate up. While they improve your physical and mental health, they have also been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and regulate your blood sugar.
So as you can see, while they are often written off as a weight loss workout, they are much more than that. Sure, they can help control weight, but there’s nothing better than feeling strong both mentally and physically. Exercise Shouldn’t Be About Weight Loss—Rather, How It Makes You feel,
“Cardio workouts really are the best medicine for heart disease prevention,” shares Dr. Susan Steinbaum (opens in new tab)a cardiologist and member of Peloton’s Health and Wellness Advisory Council, “They produce feel-good hormones that energize you throughout the day and, at a basic level, will give you more energy, improve your sleep, and generally make you feel better.”
We asked four pros for their top tips for finding the cardio session that works for you, plus they shared their personal go-tos. Keep scrolling to see what the Olympians and coaches are up to steph davis (opens in new tab)run coach on Runna Ben Davis (opens in new tab), peloton (opens in new tab)coach Jermaine Johnson (opens in new tab)And says Dr. Steinbaum.
Don’t miss our edit of the best running trainers, warm-up exercises, and marathon training tips (opens in new tab)while you are here
What are the benefits of cardio workout?
are loads. From improving cardiovascular health, to lowering blood pressure and controlling blood sugar levels, cardio is truly an all-rounder.
Other research has also indicated that it can help aid with sleep, control weight, strengthen your immune system, and boost your mood, all of the important things your body releases when you exercise. Thanks for the endorphins.
How many cardio workouts should I do in a week?
good question According to NHS website, They recommend aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise each week.
“Moderate-intensity exercise is the most effective way to reach cardiovascular fitness,” explains Dr. Steinbaum.
Brand new to cardio workouts? take it slow. As Parker points out, with any type of exercise, we are looking for gradual increases. Try this: Aim for 15 minutes a few times a week and build up to 30 minutes.
Want to know if you’re working hard? Coach explains that if you’re a little short of breath, but you can still talk, you’ve probably hit your sweet spot.
Instead prefer a gym session where you work through weight lifting exercises or a yoga class? Incorporating your cardio can be as simple as rounding up your daily step count — it’s all about keeping your heart in good health, after all, explains Parker. Not convinced? Our lecturer on the benefits of walking (opens in new tab) Just can give you confidence.
So, why are cardio exercises so good for us? Well, because as we get older, arteries throughout the body naturally harden, especially around the heart. Exercising helps combat this, explains Dr. Steinbaum. “Cardio keeps arteries healthy and elastic, increases oxygen delivery throughout the body, and improves heart function,” she explains.
Keep scrolling for his go-to workouts.
Cardio Workouts: The 10 Best to Try Tonight, According to the Experts
Running is the most obvious cardio workout that comes to mind. It’s great because it’s largely free, easy to do, and can be tailored to your specific fitness level.
Not a runner or don’t think this is for you? It’s not for everyone, but if you want to try it, the Couch to 5km app or the Runna app will both come in handy (or head to our guide to the best running apps) (opens in new tab) for more options).
“Running is one of the best forms of cardio,” shares Johnson. Try this: Take it up a notch by adding intervals to your weekly sessions. “It will improve your endurance, stamina, and aerobic threshold,” he explains. After a low-impact session? Try intervals with a power walk, or during a walk/run hybrid, the trainer advises.
If you’d like a guided session, below is a 20-minute interval run workout.
Still trying your hand at boxing? It’s a Favorite Celebrity Workout (opens in new tab) for some reason.
“Boxing is another great cardio workout because it targets all of your muscle groups at once, as well as improving your coordination and balance,” explains Johnson.
If you’re not keen on trying it out in the studio, you can do the session below with certified personal trainer Kyra Pro from your living room.
Skipping deserves credit as a fun, easy, and cheap cardio workout — not just one for the school yard, Johnson explains.
He explains: “It’s a great workout to get your heart rate up as well as engaging your core. It’s a real winner for those looking for a quick cardio hit” Try this: All you need is a rope and enough space. You can also incorporate HIIT-style intervals into your skipping which is a great way to really push yourself, shares the pro.
Try this fifteen-minute session below from trainer Sydney Houdshell.
4. Cross Training
Runna’s team suggests that if you can’t get out for a run, spending some time on a cross trainer will be just as beneficial.
With cross training, you have several options: rowing, swimming or cycling. The best to go is the one you’ll enjoy the most. New to rowing? The below guide given by the professionals of PureGym will help.
These definitely get the heart pumping and are easy to do from home, especially if you are tight for time.
Just starting out? Be sure to build up intensity gradually to avoid delayed onset muscle soreness. (opens in new tab) (DOMs) the next day. Challenge yourself by counting how many you can do in sixty seconds. See the tutorial below for correct form.
6. Travel Walkout
Eager to choose low-impact workouts (opens in new tab), It’s a great exercise to start with, shares Johnson.
Below, the Runna team demonstrates how it’s done. Note, all of the exercises below will need to be combined with other cardio exercises to create a complete workout.
It’s a double whammy—helping you improve your muscle mass and get your heart rate up at the same time.
For another glute workout (opens in new tab)Try this set from PT Chrissy Sela.
Another great cardio exercise that, when combined with other moves, can be a great all-round workout, is the deadbug. While it won’t get your blood pumping as much as, say, running, it’s a great move for improving your overall strength and strengthening your core.
Note here: Proper form is important for this exercise, so check out Ranna’s tutorial below.
9. Jumping Lunge
A cardio and strength-boosting move? Winner, winner
The jumping lunge is a great move for improving both your lower-body strength and cardiovascular health at the same time, the trainer shares. Willing to increase the intensity? Aim to gradually incorporate more jumping lunges each time.
As mentioned above, cycling is one of the best cardio workouts for several reasons.
You have several options – you can hop on your real bike and go for a spin around your local park, start a cycle tour, or head out to run a few errands.
Similarly, if you prefer an indoor, stationary bike, your local gym will have plenty, or you can invest in one at home. Peloton App is £12.99 a month and gives unlimited access to a range of classes including running, cycling, boxing, walking and HIIT. It also offers a 30-day free trial period.
After all your hard work, don’t forget to call it quits by checking out our guide to the best cool down exercises here.