10 Heart-Pumping Cardio Workouts to Boost Your Heart Health

Cardio workouts

Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system not only improves your fitness and endurance, but it’s vital for preventing heart disease. That’s why regular cardio workouts are so essential for your overall well-being.

Cardio workouts are not limited to activities like jogging, cycling or swimming. There are loads of fun and different ways to get some cardio into your exercise routine. This article highlights ten workouts you can try. Whether you’re a total beginner looking to start a healthy heart routine, or a seasoned fitness enthusiast seeking new challenges, there’s something to suit everyone.

Why do you need to include cardio workouts in your program?

Before we dive into the ten cardio routines you can try, it’s important to understand the benefits of cardio exercises. When you know why cardio is so good for you, you’ll feel more motivated to exercise regularly.

Improved heart function

The heart is essentially a muscle and the more it’s worked out, the stronger it will become. A fit and healthy heart also improves blood flow, delivering oxygen and vital nutrients to muscles and cells.

Reduced risk of heart disease

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Australia. A healthy heart vastly reduces the risk of heart disease and regular cardio workouts will help you live longer.

Enhanced stamina

Blood flows from the heart to the lungs for oxygen. As your heart pumps faster, your lungs work harder and the result is an increase in your stamina over time. You’ll feel fitter and be able to train for longer without fatigue or losing your breath.

Weight Management

Cardio exercises are a fantastic way to burn calories and metabolise fat. Cardio routines will help you maintain your ideal weight if you’re in shape, and help you achieve your weight loss goals if you have a few extra kilos to lose.

Improved mood

All forms of exercise are healthy for your mind as well as your body. When you exercise, your brain releases feel-good endorphins, improving your mood and increasing your happiness levels.

Here are 10 workouts that your heart will thank you for

Let’s now highlight ten different cardio workouts and exercises you can try that are great for heart health and general fitness. Give them all a go and then choose your favourites to add to your regular fitness routine.

1. Skipping

Skipping is a simple exercise that you can do practically anywhere and all you need is a skipping rope and a little space. This isn’t a fun exercise reserved just for kids. Boxers, fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes often skip to improve their cardiovascular fitness levels. Even just five minutes of skipping will get your heart pumping and have you working up a sweat.

2. Jumping jacks

You don’t need any equipment to perform simple jumping jacks, yet this exercise will really get the heart and lungs working even within a minute or two. It’s an ideal cardio exercise for fitness beginners, but also beneficial for people of all fitness levels. If you’ve never done a jumping jack before, you can watch an online video or follow these steps:

  • Stand hip-width apart with your arms at your sides
  • Jump into the air, spreading your legs to shoulder-width and raising your hands above your head
  • Jump back into the starting position
  • Rinse and repeat

3. Walking

Walking is something everyone can do, anywhere and at any time. It’s the easiest form of cardio to get started with. The great thing about walking is you can really set your own pace. Your walk can start off as a leisurely stroll and develop into a heart-thumping power walk. You can walk on flat ground, up and down hills, or even hike on a mountain trail. Walking burns calories, increases muscle strength and decreases the risk of developing heart disease. It’s also low impact and kind to your joints.  We have several treadmills upstairs at Live Fit Gym, so you can get your steps up when the weather isn’t conducive to walking.  A couple of them are equipped with a range of video walking trails so you can see what it’s like walking through Rome, or French lavender fields or even the Kimberly region.

4. Burpees

This is a very popular and easy-to-do cardio exercise that gives you a high-intensity, full-body workout. It really gets the heart racing and the blood pumping. You can do burpees at home, in the gym, or even in the park. To perform a burpee:

  • Squat down from a standing position
  • Place your palms on the ground
  • Hop back with your legs into a push-up position
  • Perform a push-up
  • Hop back into a squat
  • Stand and then repeat the process

5. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

HIIT is perfect for rapidly improving heart and lung fitness, endurance levels and burning calories. We host HIIT classes at Live Fit Gym and they are extremely popular.

High-intensity interval training involves performing a certain exercise at a very intense rate, followed by a brief period of lower intensity (or rest), repeating the routine over and over again until exhaustion sets in. HIIT is ideal for fitness enthusiasts looking for a new challenge.

You can do all sorts of exercises in a HIIT routine, including sprints, push-ups, squats, burpees and more.

6. Dancing

Is there a more fun way to exercise than dancing? It’s one of those activities that’s so enjoyable that you don’t even realise you’re exercising at the same time. Joining an organised Zumba class or something similar is a good way to get started, learn some moves and have fun with a group of like-minded people.

You can dance anywhere. At home in your bedroom, at a party, or a night out on the town visiting the local clubs. You’ll improve your fitness overall, as well as doing your heart a huge favour.

7. Boxing

People of all fitness and skill levels can take up boxing. It’s an awesome exercise for good heart health, muscle strengthening and muscle development. Everything involved in boxing - from hitting the bag to dancing around the ring with an opponent - will get the blood pumping. It’s suggested that just thirty minutes of boxing can burn over 400 calories.  Why not join with one of Wednesday boxing classes and see how much fun they are?

8. Circuit Training

This popular exercise routine involves a combination of strength training and cardio in one workout. It’s best done in the gym, and our expert personal trainers can help you develop the perfect circuit training program to achieve your goals. By the end of each session, you’ll feel stronger and fitter, and your heart will be healthier for it.  We run several circuit type classes during the week, including Strength and Conditioning, Amrap and our famous Saturday morning Lucky Dip.  Check out our timetable for full details, and join in.

9. Elliptical machines

One of the popular pieces of equipment we have upstairs at Live Fit is the elliptical machines. These are exercise machines designed specifically for cardio workouts and will really get your blood pumping and the sweat flowing. Here’s how to use one:

  • Stand with your feet flat on the pedals
  • Place your hands on the handles
  • Push each peddle forward (as one foot goes forward, the other goes backward)
  • As you peddle, the handles move. Allows your arms to move naturally with the motion
  • Continue to increase your intensity over time

10. Push-ups

Elevate your heart rate with daily push-ups. These are one of the easiest and best exercises you can do at home. Not only are they great for your heart health, but will also improve your upper body strength and tone.

To perform a push-up, get down onto the floor with your palms on the ground in a high plank position. Keep lowering yourself down and up until you feel a good burn. If you’re new to push-ups, you can start out by doing wall push-ups to build up your strength before advancing to floor push-ups. Lean against the wall with your body at an angle and push up and down.  You can also start off by doing them on your knees, until  you build up arm and core strength.

Enjoy cardio workouts at Live Fit Gym

Our gym is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. We make fitness fun, so why not join one of our organised group cardio classes, where you can get involved in boxing, HIIT and more? Led by friendly, qualified trainers, our classes last for 45 minutes (including warm up and cool down). For more information, give us a call today on 0493 509 868 or send us a message.