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Top 10 Cardio Exercises
Anil Kumar

1. Walking
Fitness walking is a brisk, low impact, low stress form of exercise. It’s a natural activity which can be enjoyed by everyone in the family - from the youngest to the oldest. It can be done almost anywhere, at anytime, and it requires no special skills. All you need is a pair of comfortable, well cushioned walking shoes that offer good heel and arch support. Walking is more than just walking for fitness –– it’s walking for total health.

2. Running
Running is one of best activities you can add to your fitness schedule. It doesn’t require special equipment (except some good quality shoes) and you can do it anywhere. Best of all, you burn serious calories, especially if you add hills and sprints to your workout. The downside is, it takes lots of practice and you should watch your knees and ankles for any discomfort or pain.

3. Spinning
Spinning on a bike is said to be one of the most-effective aerobic exercises. It increases endurance while burning lots of calories, but of course that depends on how fast you go and how high your resistance is.

4. Dancing
Dancing is an excellent aerobic activity, which helps in toning the entire body. Whether you dance at a competitive level or just for fun, it is a regime that will help you in attaining a healthy and fit body. Dancing works like a stress and tension reducer. That’s what makes dance the ideal exercise! Plus there are umpteen types of dances one can choose, like Jazz, Salsa, Rumba, Ballroom dancing, Bharatanatyam or Kathak.

5. Skipping
All you need for this cardio workout is a good skipping rope that gives you a sturdy grip. What’s unique about skipping is that it gives one multiple benefits. Besides undeniable fitness gains, skipping lifts up your mood, and it even helps reconnect with the exuberant childlike spirit, which we adults often shun. Skipping is great for the mind, body, and soul. If you worry about it becoming a monotonous routine, incorporate variations like the butterfly skip, chicken skip, twirling skip, backwards skip, sideways skip and even the air guitar skip.

6. Swimming
Swimming is the one of the most recommended forms of endurance sport. It’s a full body exercise. The more body parts you involve in your workout, the more calories you'll burn. Swimming has a positive effect on the heart, and improves blood circulation in the muscles. Despite the exertion and exhaustion, it leaves you with the sensation of pleasant tiredness which makes you feel good. Best of all, your joints are fully supported so you don’t have to worry about high-impact injuries.

7. Aerobics
With exciting music, group motivation and qualified instruction, you can perform different step-aerobic combinations or choreographies. Aerobics aims primarily to improve the cardiovascular system, but your power, movement and coordination are also heavily influenced by the rhythm of the music. So make sure your instructor ropes in the latest, catchy music to keep you on your feet.

8. Rowing
Rowing provides aerobic conditioning as well as strength conditioning. It involves smooth, rhythmic and impact free movements, and it’s a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

9. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is a challenging feat but it can be very rewarding. Working up a good sweat, having fun with your friends, or finishing that route you’ve been working on can simply be enthralling. Rock climbing is not an activity for those with weak hearts. Check with your doctor before you engage in this cardio workout. Though you use strength and power with your arms and legs, rock climbing has a high learning curve and requires lots of special equipment and techniques so you don’t hurt yourself. Mental strength is a plus!

10. Lifting
Nope this isn’t about lifting weights, but instead it’s about lifting people’s spirits. It’s one of the best exercises that truly brings joy to life, besides making one feel light at heart. You can do this when you are fit and healthy in your mind, body and soul.
Now, set your targets and challenge yourself every day and achieve your goal. A little work, and a little play, to keep you going! 

Anil Kumar is a certified fitness expert
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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