Sometimes "life happens" and your plan to hit the trail or the gym just doesn't come to fruition. Instead of getting bent out of shape or down on yourself for missing a workout, turn your home into a cardio exercise machine and take advantage of your surroundings to get one of the best workouts around.
If you have a set of stairs in your home, or even if you just have a step or two, put them to good use and turn them into an at-home stair stepper with the following exercises:
Jog or walk up and down the stairs
Balance on your palms and toes and "walk" up and down the stairs in a push-up position
Stand at the bottom of the stairs and place one foot on the bottom step, jump in the air and alternate feet; continue jumping back and forth on the bottom step with alternating feet
Walk up the stairs sideways taking two to three steps at a time; alternate sides
Think back to your elementary school PE class and the exercises you performed on test days like jumping jacks, lunges and squats. Calisthenic exercises like these don't take much equipment and they certainly do the trick when it comes to increasing your heart rate. Create a circuit and alternate quickly from one exercise to another to break a sweat and burn serious calories. A sample 10-minute circuit could include:
0:00-1:00 Jog in place
2:00-3:00 Jumping jacks
3:00-4:00 Push ups
5:00-6:00 Chair dips
7:00-8:00 High-knee jog
9:00-10:00 Wide-leg squat
As evidenced by shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance?" dance is an excellent form of exercise. Throw your favorite music on the radio and dance for 30 to 60 minutes while cooking, cleaning or helping your kids with their homework. Just keep your body moving and work hard enough to increase your breath volume throughout the routine.
If you're a class-fanatic, stock up on a few home exercise DVDs to get your fix when you can't make it to the gym. Classes like kickboxing, dance and Pilates often use little or no equipment, making them easy to pop in and perform from anywhere. Consider picking up the following videos:
Probably the simplest way to get your cardio routine in at home is to stay on your feet and walk around the house for 30 to 60 minutes. If you hear the couch calling your name, spend your time vacuuming, mopping or sweeping. Your house will be cleaner, your heart will be healthier and you'll feel good about your efforts. Set the kitchen timer and commit to continue walking until the buzzer buzzes.
The services and information on this site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or a recommendation for your specific condition or situation. Consult your physician before you begin any exercise, nutrition, diet, or weight loss program or other change in your lifestyle.