8 super fun and effective ways to get your heart pumping

We can all use improvement when it comes to cardiovascular health.

Having strong lungs and a healthy heart are essential to wellness and quality of life. Yet many people really don’t like cardio exercises because they are hard to do, take a lot of effort and often can be painful on the joints.

Well, that’s not always the case…

In today’s video Coach Kevin Kearns will take you through a fun set of eight cardio exercises in a series that builds up and will improve your health. Let’s follow along and see how it feels.

1 – Side Jacks

The cardio exercises begin with jumping jacks, but the low impact kind known as side jacks. With these, you do not get the jarring in the head or joints as you do with regular jumping jacks. What’s more, these side jacks also work the hips and improve lateral balance.

Stand with feet parallel and arms at your side. Now lift both arms up so hands touch above your head, while one leg goes out to the side. Lower your arms as the leg comes in. The raise the arms again as the other leg goes out to the side.

Do 10 slow reps to warm up.

2 – Punches in Bunches

Nest, you will do what’s called punches in bunches. Stand by standing with one leg and one arm in front of the other; like a boxer’s stance. Now you with alternately punch with the front hand and then the rear hard, like a boxer’s jab and cross.

You don’t have to be a boxer to do this, and the form need not be perfect. The main objective is to alternate the hands to move the waist and torso and rotate the feet to engage the core, shoulders, waist and build your cardio.

Do 10 two-punch reps.

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3 – Skiers

Next, we move on to skiers, which are motions like you are skiing.

Stand with one foot in front of the other. Hope one leg up and one leg back. As the right leg moves forward the right arm also moves forward. Then as the right leg and arm move back, the left leg and arm move forward.

Do 10 reps then move right into the next exercise.

4 – Lateral Lunge

Keep the cardio exercises going and move into a lateral lunge. It’s like an ice skater’s movement.

You’ll take a hop to the left, lifting your right foot off the ground and moving it behind you. At the same time your right hand will move behind you and your left hand moves in front for balance.

It’s easier than it sounds, so check our Coach Kevin in the video and follow along with his 10 reps.

5 – Progressive Burpee

Next, we find the dreaded burpee. Yes, these are difficult, and many despise them. But they are so effective at developing your cardiovascular and muscular fitness. Here, Coach Kevin shows them in progressive steps, to make them easier for beginners. If you can do the progressives without struggle, move on the full burpee.

Begin standing with feet shoulder’s width apart and hands by your sides. Bend your left knee as you step back deeply with your right foot and your hands both touch the floor in front of you. Then lower your left foot back next to the right, ending in a push-up position. Now stand up and repeat for a total of 10 times.

6 – Mountain Climbers

Go back down as if doing an 11th burpee but remain in push-up position. Now move right into mountain climbers.

Simply hold the hands in place as your alternate stepping your feet up and back for 10 reps.

7 – Bicycles

No turn over and do bicycles or lying crunches to keep the heart rate going.

Clasp your hands behind your head, raise your knees and alternately touch your right elbow to left knee, then left elbow to right knee.

10 reps are the magic number.

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8 – Side Jacks

Stand back up and return to the side jacks. This time, because you are now warmed up, do a faster set of 10 reps.

Follow along with Coach Kevin until you have these down, then add more reps as your cardio improves over times. Good luck and have fun!

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.