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Is it possible to do a cardio workout in 15 minutes? According to the American Heart Association, being physically active every day is important to help prevent a heart attack or stroke. The Heart Association also states that doing something is better than nothing, so follow the expert’s advice and get moving.
Having two to three slots of fifteen minutes a day, for a cardio workout, is the first step to having a healthy heart. This time frame is realistic and achievable, even with busy schedules and family commitments.
Once the routine is consistent, the person will begin to feel stronger and can add on minutes to their exercise.
We all like to workout at different times, sometimes first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day, or last thing at night. There are no strict guidelines to what time these exercises should be carried out, but the key is to be consistent. This will optimize performance and in the long run make the body stronger.
To prevent injury, it is critical to warm up before a workout and cool down afterwards. Making sure the muscles have been warmed up and have plenty of oxygen before a workout, will help raise muscle temperature and therefore flexibility. Gradually increasing the heart rate is the safest way to exercise, and it will lessen any strain on the heart. The warm-up should last 3 minutes, and it should increase when the exercise regime lengthens.
15 Minute Cardio Home Workout
- 3 Minute Warm Up: If there is access to stairs, walk up and down four steps, ten times. An alternative for beginners is walking one step forward and backward several times, lifting the knees as high as possible
- 1 Minute Shoulder Rolls: Whilst marching to keep the heart rate up, roll the shoulders forward and back ten times in each direction.
- 2 Minute Squats: With arms stretched out in front, bend the knees as if sitting an imaginary chair, then straighten, for 10 repetitions. These squats will build muscle strength, improve circulation, and help tone, abs, glutes, and legs.
- 1 Minute Star Jumps: Slightly crouch, with arms to the side. Jump up with arms in a “V” above the head and legs in a downward “V” shape. Star jumps will build leg muscles and are a great cardio workout.
- 2 Minute Power Sit-ups: Laying on the floor, place hands on either side of the head. Pull in knees slightly, alternate lifting each knee, and twisting the body slightly, so that the opposite elbow meets the knee. Repeat these sit-ups at least ten times, for each knee. This helps strengthen core muscles and maintains an elevated heart rate.
- 1 Minute Downward Facing Dog: This is a well-known yoga pose, which stretches out the lower back and strengthens arm and shoulder muscles. Kneel on the floor, ideally on a yoga mat, rug, or carpet, and place the hands on the floor, directly under the shoulders. Stretch out fingers to get a good steady grip, pushing the hands into the ground. Tuck the toes under and push the body towards the sky, making sure the hands and feet are firmly on the ground, and the chest is towards the thighs, with heels facing towards the floor. Concentrate on the breath, whilst relaxing the head. Repeat these steps twice and hold for at least 30 seconds, each time.
- 2 Minute Lunges: Stand straight with the legs in a split stance, right leg forward, left leg back, slowly bending the knees. Make sure the bodyweight is on the heels, then push back to a starting position. The back must be kept straight at all times, with knees not extending over the toes.
COOL DOWN EXERCISES
Gentle stretches prevent muscle stiffness and bring the heart rate slowly back down, rather than it dropping rapidly, which can lead to dizziness. Walk around the home, inside and out, can also help regulate the heart rate without a drastic change in pace.
- Thigh stretch. Grab the left foot and pull the heel toward the left buttock, bending the left leg behind, holding for 15 seconds. Repeat with the right side.
- Hamstring stretch. Place the hands on the hips and bring the right leg forward. Keep it straight and point the toes upwards. Bend left leg and body towards the right leg, keeping the back straight. Repeat this exercise with left side.
- Lower back stretch. Lie on the back, with both feet on the ground. Pull the right knee towards the chest, feeling a slight stretch in the lower back. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat with the left leg. Pull both knees towards chest and hold for 15 seconds.
After exercising it is essential to hydrate. Keep things simple and have a large glass of cool water. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, drinking cold water is absorbed faster by the body, than room temperature.