Fitness, Personal Training, & Exercise Science

12 Easy Ways to Fire Up Your Cardio Workout

There are various cardio exercises to choose from regardless of whether one wants to lose some calories, burn fat, or enhance their health. The aim of a cardio workout is to increase intensity and the heart rate. While some people choose to use workout equipment such as elliptical trainers and treadmills, there are easier ways of doing these exercises. It is important though to remember that the ideal cardio exercise is one that an individual enjoys.

  • Frog Jumps

Frog jumps are high-intensity workouts which elevate the heart rate within a short time. These exercises help one burn fat, calories, and improve lower body and cardio strength. The best way to achieve the most out of frog jumps is to start gradually, rest for a few minutes, and repeat where possible. Start by squatting to the floor with the feet apart. Place the hands in front on the ground. Engage the quads, hamstrings, and glutes then jump up from the floor. Place the heels together and lift the hands up or place them behind the head. Ensure the knees are bent as you land back to the starting position to avoid injuring the joints. Repeat this as desired.

  • Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers increase the heart rate while incorporating intensity in the workout. They are vital for enhancing endurance on the legs and improving agility. These exercises are intense and should be done gradually especially for people doing them for the first time. Start in a push-up position with the body weight supported by the toes and hands. This should leave the back flat and the abs engaged. Place the right knee close to the chest and the foot on the floor. Jump up and shift the feet in the air so as to place the left foot close to the chest. Repeat the exercise while alternating the feet and increasing the speed accordingly for one minute.

  • Long Jumps

Long jumps increase intensity, workout the body core, and accelerate the heart rate. These exercises involve jumping forward as furthest as possible and landing back on the feet. Individuals should exercise care while doing this workout as it can cause discomfort and pain on the knees. To execute this exercise safely, start gradually and keep the jumps short.

  • Jog in Place

Jogging in place is a simple workout that does not increase intensity as much as outdoor jogging would. However, one can increase the heart rate by incorporating arm movement and jogging at an increased pace. Individuals can also jog up and down the stairs to increase the heart rate.

  • Lift and carry Heavy Items

Lifting or carrying heavy items such as shopping instead pushing it on the cart enhances intensity and increases the heart rate.

  • Walk at an Increased Speed

Despite the fact that today people have busy schedules, one can spare a few minutes to walk briskly. Park the car far away and walk the remaining distance. This will not only increase the heart rate, it will also enhance the intensity, develop endurance, and probably burn some fat.

  • Try Exciting Outdoor Activities

Fun activities that are good for the heart and body include swimming, playing beach volleyball, mountain cycling, and trail running. Involve friends and work as a team to make these workouts as exciting as possible. Exercising outdoors contributes to an enhanced mental health and strengthens the muscles.

  • Get enough rest and sufficient sleep

Mental fatigue can render an otherwise effective cardio workout fruitless. Take time to eat healthy foods, drink enough water, rest, and sleep well. This enables the brain and the body to respond to exercises.

  • Workout first thing in the morning

Fitness instructors recommend working out in the morning. It is believed that this enables the body to adjust to the exercise routine. However, this may not work for everybody due to convenience factors. Where possible set out an exercise routine and stick to it.

  • Squat Jumps

With the feet hip-width apart, engage the core and squat as low as possible. Touch the ground with the fingertips and ensure the hips are a little raised to protect the knees from excessive pressure. Jump as high as possible and lift the hands up above the head. Go back to the squatting position and ensure to land upon soft knees.

  • Burpees

In a standing position, place the feet hip-width apart. Squat to the ground and place the hands in front. Plunge the feet explosively behind to assume a push-up position leaving the body, toes, and hands in a straight line. One can choose to do a push up on the knees or toes before plunging the feet back to the starting position. Repeat where necessary.

  • Plyo Jacks

With the feet together, assume a squatting position. Place the arms in front and plunge the feet out to assume a squatting position. Swing the arms up above the head and plunge the feet back together. Swing the arms back to the starting position. Repeat as desired.


The above cardio workouts are important for an enhanced intensity and increased heart rate. Doing them regularly will not only improve body health, they also enhance mental health and enable one to burn fat.

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