You don’t need an expensive gym membership or a personal trainer to enjoy the benefits of a full-body cardio workout. You don’t need special machines, gadgets or gizmos. All you need to boost your cardiovascular health is an enjoyable way to get your body moving and increase your breathing and heart rate. Three of the cheapest and most enjoyable forms of cardio exercise are running, cycling, and swimming
It’s recommended to wear high-quality running shoes if you’ll run regularly. You can run barefoot across the beach, but if you’ll be using the nearest park or pounding the sidewalks of your local neighborhood, a decent pair of shoes can keep you comfortable and guard against injury.
Before setting out to run, you should always do a five-minute warm-up. Light jogging on the spot or dancing to your favorite song will do the trick. The idea is to get your blood flowing and your muscles warmed up before you push them harder.
If you are new to exercise, then start slowly. You can alternate a hundred yards running with a hundred yards walking. Everyone has their own starting level of fitness.
As you exercise, you should feel warmer but not dripping in sweat, and be breathing harder but still able to hold a conversation. Start with an achievable jog in line with your comfort zone and gradually increase the length and intensity of your run as you get fitter. If you go running with a friend, always agree to let the slower person set the pace.
If you own a bicycle, cycling is a great way to enjoy a slimming workout. Whether you’re cycling to and from work, taking to the track, or heading out into the hills, it’s not only good exercise but an efficient form of transport. With a training stand, you can even cycle indoors on a rainy day.
You needn’t dress like a lycra-clad superhero to get the cardio benefits of a cycle ride. But it’s recommended you wear a decent cycling helmet and a high visibility jacket for your safety on the roads. In some places, it’s a legal requirement. Remember that in some States you need a license to ride a bicycle on the public highways.
Just a short bicycle ride of three to five miles can do wonders for your health. Studies have shown cycling increases fitness and mental well-being. If you join your local cycling club, it can also boost your social life.
Swimming is one of the best kinds of exercise you can do. It doesn’t matter if you swim in a pool, a river, a lake, or the oceans, the quality of the cardiovascular benefits of swimming are second to none. Follow sensible safety guidelines if you go swimming outdoors, and never go “wild swimming” alone.
As with any exercise, it’s recommended to warm-up first and if you’re not used to physical activity, start easy and gradually build up your stamina and strength. Many public swimming pools offer beginner’s classes. There’s also water-based aerobics, which can be a great way to get fit even if you’re not a confident swimmer.
Whether running, cycling or swimming, taking regular exercise can be fun and doesn’t have to be expensive. You can easily build exercise into your daily routine. For example, you could jog or cycle to work instead of driving or riding the bus. To increase your fitness and well-being, the important thing is to get out there and get started.