Cardio Training Without Machines (That Isn’t Jogging)
We all know that cardio training is an important aspect of physical fitness and health. We might not always enjoy cardiovascular training, but it must be done. Cardiovascular fitness has been associated with reduced risk of premature death, heart disease, obesity, and even reduced risk/severity of depression and anxiety. So, if you want to live your best life and be as healthy as you can possibly be – cardio is a must.
Training our cardiovascular capacity, at lower heart rates that are around 50-65% of of maximum heart rate, is a must for baseline health. The most common thing we do when it comes to training our cardio is to head to the gym, jump on our favourite machine, and cruise away for 30mins. However, we don’t always have access to a gym or the machines that we enjoy using. So what should you do if that’s the case?
Go back to basics and make use of low tech options.
Cardio training doesn’t need to be high tech, and it doesn’t need to be complicated. There are many options that can help you get the job done, without any fancy equipment, and will still yield impressive results – benefitting your physique and over all health. Today, we’ll be detailing some options for you to try, the next time you find yourself without access to a gym, or if all the machines are taken.
Also, we won’t be talking about jogging. The goal of this blog is to give you some other options that you may not have considered, and jogging is always the first thing that comes to mind when the subject of cardio comes up.
Simply use any of the following methods, keep your heart rate at a level thats high enough for you to feel like you’re “working” , but could still easily keep up a conversation. It should feel just slightly uncomfortable, but not completely exhausting. Keep track of your breath, heart rate, and make sure to keep it relatively even throughout the duration of your workout. Train for 20-30mins steady at this level.
Step Up / Walk The Stairs
Walking stairs is a great cardio workout. I bet you already know this if you’ve ever walked up a few flights of stairs. Luckily for you, it’s really easy to find a flight of stairs just about anywhere in the world. If it’s nice outdoors, use the stairs at the local park or outdoor arena. If you live in an apartment building or condo building, simply use the stairs in your building, climb to the top, and back down again for the duration of your workout. If you’re at home, your home stair case will do as well.
BUT, if for some reason you don’t have access to a flight of stairs, or if the stairs you have access to is only a few steps high, the good old step up exercise will do just fine. Simply set up a step, or stand in front of one step on your stair set, and step up and down, for the duration of your workout, while alternating legs each time.
Another wonderful thing about walking the stairs, or performing step ups, is that they’re both low impact. This makes them great for those who are over weight, deconditioned, or recovering from certain types of injuries.
The goal is to keep your heart rate, and breath, within the difficulty level described above.
Jumping rope is a simple, affordable, portable, and very effective method of cardio. You can take a jump rope with you while traveling, or going just about anywhere, really easily – it just folds up and can be placed in a bag/jacket. Jumping rope also takes up hardly any space, and can be performed without too much difficulty in a corner of a gym, hotel room, apartment living room, or balcony. The only thing about jumping rope, it requires a degree of coordination and timing – but with a bit of practice it won’t be an issue.
Hiking or walking steep hills/trails is also another wonderful, simple, and effective method of cardio. If you’re in an area with hiking trails, or live by some steep hills, briskly walking those trails or hills can be a nice way to add some cardiovascular training to your fitness routine. Stick to simple and basic trails, nothing dangerous or advanced – keep it safe and always hike with friends.
Swimming is a very special form of cardio. It’s not only a low impact form of cardio that’s safe on joints, but it’s also a life saving skill. Swimming can be great for those with injuries or joint issues. For those with complex health issues or injuries, it may be a great way to train their cardio without too many complications. Chances are if you’re staying at a hotel, they have a pool. Many condos in big cities have pools. And just about every city has a public pool. Oh, and Wynn Fitness Club Meadowvale has a pool (just a heads up). There are many different ways to swim, many different techniques, and many options that put more of an emphasis on the upper or lower body. For your health, for your survival, it’s best to learn how to swim and how to swim well.
Next time you’re stuck without machines, or maybe without a gym, try out some of these low tech cardio options. You’ll be taking the right steps towards a healthier, fitter, and more vibrant version of yourself – no machines needed.