You can increase your heart rate and burn calories without a trip to the gym. These 3 cardio workouts last for 5 minutes each. When you repeat the segments four times, you will complete a fast-paced 20-minute cardio workout. Perform each movement for 50 seconds and allow 10 seconds to transition between exercises.
Jog in place while lifting your knees high towards your chest.
Basic jumping jacks. Stand with your feet together, knees slightly bent, and arms to your sides. Jump while raising your arms and separating legs. Land with your legs apart and your arms overhead. Jump again while lowering your arms and returning your legs to the starting position. For a lower impact version, alternate stepping each foot out to the side instead of jumping.
Alternating front kicks
Lift the right knee and kick your right foot out in front of you so that the your leg is parallel to the floor. Repeat with your left leg. To increase the intensity, pick up the pace and add a hop as you kick.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Sit back into a squat and then jump into the air. As you land, drop back down into a squat and repeat.
Jump and quickly cross your ankles while in the air. Land with your feet uncrossed. Repeat, and alternate which foot is in the front.
Start in plank position. Pull your right knee in towards your chest as you tap your right toe on the ground about 18 inches below your right hand. Return your right foot to the starting position while raising your left foot. Repeat.
From the standard plank position, hop your feet out to the sides and hop back into the center. To reduce the intensity, tap your right and left feet out to the side one leg at a time.
From the standard push-up position, hop your feet forward so they land between your hands. As you stand, jump into the air. Return your hands to the ground and jump your feet back to standard plank position.
One leg hop
Stand on your right foot and hop. Hop side-to-side and front-to-back to challenge your balance. Switch feet and hop on your left leg.
Jump to the right and land on your right foot with your left knee bent and left foot lifted off the floor. Jump to the left and land on your left foot. Increase your speed and distance of each jump to increase the intensity.
With feet together, hop in place while keeping your elbows close to your torso and rotating your forearms clockwise. The exercise can be done with or without a jump rope.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Alternate jabs with the right and left arms. Twist the torso towards the direction of the punch to work the core.
With the feet together envision a vertical line to your right. Hop back and forth over the line with both feet.
Cross country ski
Stand with your right foot out in front and your left foot back. Jump and scissor the legs so that when you land the left foot is forward and the right foot back. Make big movements with your arms, raising your left arm overhead as your right foot moves forward and then switch.
Lift your right leg out to the side and kick your foot so that your leg is almost parallel to the floor. With each kick, step to the right. Repeat four times. Switch to the left leg, and repeat four times.
As always, please consult your physician prior to starting any new exercise routine.