Get Pumped: What are the Best Cardio Exercises You Need to Try?

Are you getting the recommended 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each week? 

Just 30 minutes of moving your body five days a week is enough to stay in shape, maintain energy and live a healthy life when combined with a nutritious diet.

The reality is that technology is pushing us to live sedentary lifestyles. Most people aren’t moving their bodies enough, but some just haven’t found an exercise they enjoy.

With our list of 10 of the best cardio exercises (that are fun too), you’re sure to find a new favorite and stick to it! Read on to get your move on!

1. Walking

Walking is an underrated exercise. 

Our society praises the hustle in everything from work to education to exercise. But sometimes too much hustle is bad. Overexercising is a thing and unfortunately, too many people push themselves past healthy thresholds.

It’s hard to gauge when you’re feeling lazy and when you are burnt out, but sometimes your body craves a slow, stress-reducing cardio-like walking. It’s easy on the heart and joints and can be enjoyed by any age. 

Walking is one of those cardio exercises that stands the test of time. Shoot for 30 minutes, or a higher goal like 10,000 steps

2. Running

It’s the first thing that comes into people’s minds when someone says “cardio.” 

Running is an amazing exercise! It improves heart rate variability, reduces resting heart rate, and can reduce stress. You can make your runs more interesting by listening to something educational or grabbing a buddy.

If you’re not a runner, start with small goals and build. Most marathoners started with just a 5K race. Running is a little tough on the joints though, so make sure to give your knees a break and wear supportive shoes. 

3. Roller Skating

It’s time to dust off those old skates. If you find yourself bored try roller skating for cardio!

Roller skating for cardio can burn 250 calories in just a 30-minute session and improve your heart health. In addition to being great cardio, roller skating has these benefits:

  • It’s fun!
  • Low-impact
  • Great way to commute
  • Improves balance

Next time a friend asks “is roller skating good exercise” be sure to share the ten stats with them!

4. Rowing

Despite popular belief, rowing is in the legs, not the arms. But rowing is one of the most comprehensive full-body cardio workouts. It is much harder than it looks. 

The major pro with rowing is that it works every muscle in your body to go from the catch to the finish of each stroke. You can burn over 1,000 calories in a single session of rowing.

Opt for the real thing and grab a boat for a more fun experience. You can also hop on an ergometer when you don’t have access to a boathouse.

5. Cycling

It’s time to live like a Dutch. In the Netherlands, people bike more than they drive. This creates an environment where every commute is cardio.

While we don’t have as advanced biking infrastructure as the Netherlands, just biking 30 minutes a day can make a difference. Whether that becomes your workout or your commute, biking is a fun, low-impact way to improve cardiovascular health. 

6. Tennis

Tennis is one of the best cardio exercises for all ages! The continuous stops from changing points provide a chance to catch your breath.

But you won’t want to because once you become immersed in the game, it’s hard to get your head out. Playing tennis as cardio is so fun you’ll forget you’re even exercising.

The beauty of tennis is how it brings people together. Play singles or grab a few more friends and start a doubles match.

7. Jump Rope

Tight on space? Travel often? Don’t have time?

These are all common excuses. Jumping rope is the solution. No more skipping cardio excuses. A Jump rope is a great way to ensure you get your cardio in no matter the weather, space, or time on your hands. Just a few minutes each day is enough to break out a sweat and elevate heart rate.

Jumping rope is considered high-intensity cardio so make sure to pace yourself and gradually increase how many minutes you can do. You can get fancy with your footwork and try some different jumping styles to stay engaged.

8. Dancing

Yes, dancing is cardio. Whether you join a dance class or choreograph your fantasy musical in the garage of your house, dancing counts. 

Dancing is not only great cardio but has been shown to improve mood and coordination! If you don’t have the moves, find a YouTube video and learn the choreography, soon your muscle memory will get to work and all you have to do is feel the tempo.

9. Basketball

Basketball is one of the most cardio-intensive sports out there! If you’ve ever watched or partook in a match, you know there are no breaks. You’re just running back and forth on the court for an hour. 

The good news is, the fun of the game, dribbling, shooting, and getting in the competitive spirit distract you from just how heavy of a workout basketball is!

You’ll definitely be panting by the end of your game.

10. Swimming

Swimming is great whole-body cardio. Despite working your whole body, it’s low impact since your floating through the water, this makes it great for people with joint pain or chronic injuries.  

Swimming tones and strengthens all of your muscles and reduces stress. It’s also very invigorating! 

These Are the Best Cardio Exercises to Keep You in Shape!

Whether your goals are heart health, weight loss, or increased endurance, cardio is incredibly important for anyone whose goal is to live a healthier life. 

Let’s summarize our picks for the 10 best cardio exercises:

  1. Walking
  2. Running
  3. Roller Skating
  4. Rowing
  5. Cycling
  6. Tennis
  7. Jump Rope
  8. Dancing
  9. Basketball
  10. Swimming

Make one of these your routine or mix it up so you never get bored! Just don’t skip, unless it’s your jump rope! Remember to balance your routine with strength training and recovery days. 

Check out our health tab for more tips!


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