The Best Home Cardio Workouts

The Best Home Cardio Workouts

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The best home cardio workout for you depends on your personal preferences.

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You don't have to have a gym membership to get in shape. By engaging in cardio exercises at home, you can improve your fitness, fight off health problems and maintain a healthy body weight. When it comes to determining the best home cardio workouts, however, you need to evaluate your schedule, personal preferences and physical condition to find what's right for you. Once you've examined your situation, you can choose from effective cardio workouts that will help you achieve your goals.

Outdoor Enthusiast

If you love being outside, you can get a powerful cardio workout simply by stepping out your front door. As a challenging and efficient calorie-burning cardio workout, running takes first place in this category. It's the best way to raise your heart rate, improve your cardio system and help you shed pounds, especially if you add hills to your route. Plus, as a weight-bearing exercise, running also helps build bone density, which decreases as you age.

Indoor Energizer

Cardio workouts can also be done on home exercise machines. Equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes provide the best cardio sessions for those who enjoy climate-controlled environments, like watching TV during workouts or have small children. Of the three, treadmills offer the best workouts because they enable you to run and enjoy the high-calorie burn, heart-rate elevation and increased overall health.

Video Variety

Those who get bored easily or need the leadership and motivation of a workout instructor will get the best cardio workout at home using an online video or DVD. With the variety of options available, you can choose from kickboxing, step aerobics, dance workouts and other brand-name workouts to provide you with a beneficial cardio session. To determine the best cardio-workout video for you, evaluate your fitness level and read the video descriptions. If you want a workout suitable for a beginner, opt for shorter videos aimed at building a fitness base. If you want to capitalize on an already established fitness base, choose from videos that include phrases such as “high-intensity” or “high-impact” and that specify cardio in the title.


One rule for finding the best cardio workout is to discover what you enjoy and work hard at it. One of the keys to sticking with an exercise program is to identify what works for you based on your likes, dislikes and lifestyle. While exercise may always be a challenge, some forms of cardio will be more enjoyable to you than others. If you are completely new to exercising, try different workouts over the course of several weeks and note which ones made you feel the best. Challenge yourself to go for a walk, run, bike ride or swim and then follow it up in your next workout with a home video. Be careful, however, not to overdo it if you are just starting out. Taking on too much too soon can lead to injury, discouragement or burnout. Instead, work your way up by doing shorter, lighter workouts and building your fitness gradually. Doing this will help you gain confidence in yourself as you achieve your goals and complete your workouts. And always be sure to consult with your physician before you begin a new workout routine to better ensure your health and safety.

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