Is it too hot outside to exercise? Too rainy? Not convenient? Then get your workout indoors, either at home or at a health club! Here are 10 indoor cardiovascular exercises for you to choose from. All of the exercises offer powerful benefits to your heart and lungs while providing a substantial caloric burn.
Pick one or more exercises that best suit your individual needs, abilities and interests. Your goal should be to perform an activity three to five times per week with your heart rate elevated to within your target range for at least 20 minutes in duration. Be sure to warm up sufficiently by building the intensity gradually, then cool down at the end of your workout by slowly reducing the intensity.
Each activity in the list includes a “training tip” to help you maximize your workout.
- Treadmill — For good posture, keep your shoulders back and head up. Swing your arms naturally. As you progress, lengthen your stride.
- Stationary bicycle — Pedal at a rate of at least 70 revolutions per minute (rpm) , preferably 75 to 90 rpm, even if it means using a lower resistance.
- Elliptical trainer — If you want to work harder, it’s better to increase the resistance than to quicken your pace. Try to stay between 50 and 60 rpm. A faster pace puts extra stress on your knees.
- Stair machine — Use the rails to stabilize, not support, your upper body. Try to press through your heel, not your toes.
- Aerobic dance class — Focus on your footwork first. Then add the arm movements later when you’re more confident and in better condition.
- Rowing machine — Throughout the stroke, aim for a relaxed body. Let your legs do all the early work, while your back and arms merely transfer the pressure to the machine’s handles.
- Cross country ski machine — Keep your shoulders back and head up. Lean forward slightly. Let your arms swing freely on the pulley system, keeping your hips pressed against hip pad.
- Cardio-kickboxing — Learn from a qualified instructor who takes the time to teach proper form and technique. Don’t lock your elbows when you punch.
- Swimming — Begin a lap program by swimming 100 meters (four laps in a 25-meter indoor pool) with a one-minute rest period between each lap. Gradually increase the number of continuous laps.
- Racquetball — For aerobic benefit, aim for lengthy volleys that keep you and the ball in motion. Place shots around the court to maximize the distance you and your partner run.