If you’re stuck at home because you are under quarantine, isolation, or city-wide curfew, you’ll probably start to get cabin fever pretty quickly. It might seem like a dream to Netflix and order takeout for an indefinite amount of time, but eventually, you’ll get antsy. With gyms and fitness centers closed, what can you do to burn off some of that extra energy?
In this article, we’ll talk about the 5 best at-home cardio exercises. We’ve even paired them with strength training routines so that you can still get a complete workout while stuck inside. Treat each pair of exercises like a boxing match, three minutes on, and one minute of rest. Repeat three times and you’re done!
1. Jump Rope and Squats
Jump roping is the ultimate cardio workout. You need coordination, balance, stamina, and after 3 minutes, you’ll definitely hit your target heart rate. Switch to 3 minutes of squats (any type) to further work out your lower body. Alternate between these two and you just might emerge from quarantine fitter than before you went in. If you’re new to jump roping, you might find yourself tripping over the rope at first. Don’t do it near the lamp. Do give yourself an extra 3 minutes once you’ve got your groove on.
2. Jumping Jacks with Burpees
Jumping jacks are a good alternative to jumping roping, especially if you don’t own a jump rope. To crank up the intensity, alternate jumping jacks with burpees. The word “burpee” strikes fear in the hearts of most people, but they are effective at making you sweat. If you’re able to last 3 rounds of 3 minutes each, then you’re in better shape than most.
3. Stationary Bike or Treadmill
If you own a stationary bike or treadmill, you’re in luck. City-wide shutdowns and curfews are a good time to dust off the old home gym set up in your garage. It’ll give you one extra thing to put in the “stay at home” routine. Working out will also give you the peace and quiet alone time that you might desperately need after a few days with the kids.
4. Shadow Boxing and Lunges
If you have no gear and no equipment, these two workouts will work your upper body and lower body while pumping up your heart rate. Make sure that your form is good when you shadow box. Stand near a mirror and watch your core and arms. For lunges, you can grab a gallon of water in each hand to make the workout harder.
5. High Knees and Push-Ups
No treadmill? No problem. Do some high knees to break a sweat and switch to push-ups or planks to work your core. One of the muscle groups that can get weak and/or inflamed after sitting for long periods are your hip flexors. Keep your core strong so that you don’t end up with back or hip pain after two weeks of Netflix and chill.
Bonus: Dance It Out!
If working out sounds like it sucks, that’s okay. The best and most fun “workout” involves you cranking up the music and dancing. Need some privacy? Go to your room, shut the door, put your headphones on and have at it. We suggest a dance playlist with at least 30 minutes worth of upbeat music. With clubs and bars closed, you’ll have to learn to dance with no one watching and no one judging. Oh darn!