This post features simple indoor cardio to boost your body confidence and overall health.
I'm a big supporter of mental health and wellness, and so much of what we do with our bodies, no matter what a person's size, weight, or skill level, has to do with how we feel in our minds. I hope you can use some or all of these exercises to elevate your mood, get stronger, and give your system what it needs to function well.
To get these moves, I turned to my workout buddy and one of my dearest friends, Kim. Kim has run 5ks, 10ks and half-marathons and has just been an all-around fitness badass since I've known her. I've included some links to inexpensive workout gear at the end of the post, in case you need it.
"Stretching 5 minutes before and 10 minutes after is ideal. As always, check with your doctor to make sure you're able to safely do these moves, and stop if you feel dizzy or have sudden pain. I find a good pair of sneakers and a sports bra are ideal for the standing moves which require jumping.
Use a basic yoga mat, beach towel or folded sheet to create a buffer between you and your rug or hard flooring for the floor moves. This whole list, if done twice thru will be about 15 minutes. Do all of these in a row and then start over. If you want to add time or resistance, do it a 3rd time, or add hand or ankle weights to challenge yourself.
Try not to rest between sets...or if it's a combo arm & legs move, just do one or the other if you get too winded. Just try to keep moving so your heart rate stays up. When I'm about to cave, I always switch back to the high knees... it's like my 'rest' move!"
STANDING MOVES Count 30 each
Pretend Jump Rope. You can jump straight up and down, or just a bit side to side, which ever is comfortable. Use your arms as if you really have a rope and you'll jump higher. It's weird but it also keeps you from getting tired or bored as fast. Or, if you have a real jump rope, even better!
High Knees. Like spastic marching; get your knees as high as you can. If you want to add more calorie burn, swing your arms to touch elbows to opposite knees, or add arms up and down like throwing a ball over your head.
Jump and Twist. Similar to jump rope with arms out, twist at the waist.
Pretend Skiing. Jump/lunge to the left and swing arms left across your body, then jump back, swinging arms across to the right (like you are a speed ice skater).
Jumping Jacks. Just like Mom used to do! Make sure you get your arms up high.
SQUATS + LUNGES
Squats: You can add a band around your thighs to add resistance. With feet apart, drop your seat low while keeping thighs parallel to the ground.
Sumo Punches. Get in a squat position, feet wide apart. Lower down as much as is comfortable. Punch left and right, twisting into the punch at the waist and alternating arms. You can do this without the squat part, but by squatting you burn a lot more and tone legs.
Sumo Windmills. Same posture as sumo punches, swinging arms in alternating big circles, forward one set, then backward one set.
Jumping Lunges. Start in a lunge position, one foot out in front, back leg bent, knee as close to the ground as is comfortable. In one move, jump up and switch feet. You'll probably lose your balance at first, but they get easier!
Opposite arm/leg reaches: On hands and knees, stretch out left arm out in front of you, and at the same time, right leg. Count 3 seconds, then switch.
Mountain climbers: Hands on the ground in front of you, one foot back, one forward. alternate jumping feet forward. Here's a video by Livestrong.com to explain it better...
Up and Down Planks: Get in a half push up position on hands and knees (arms extended, knees bent). from up-right position on hands, drop down one arm at a time to elbows, keeping torso off the ground. go back up to hands. alternate up and down. this one works your back, arms, and abs too. One down and back up is one count.
EQUIPMENT UNDER $50
Pink Hibiscus Yoga Mat $10 - WalMart
Go Fit Speed Jump Rope $10 - Dick's Sporting Goods
Hand weights - $3 - $14, WalMart
C9 by Champion Racer Sports Bra - Target