Practically all physical fitness or wellness posts stress the significance of cardiovascular exercises for our heart and overall fitness. Nevertheless, not everyone is aware of what qualifies as a cardiovascular activity. If this resonates with you, don’t fret.
Cardio exercises are not that intricate, and they all have a common aim — increasing your heart rate. Regardless of your expertise level, there are beginner-friendly cardio exercises offered at the gym. Need some inspiration on where to commence? Below are the 10 optimal gym cardio exercises for novices.
If you want to burn calories, lose weight, and reinforce and tone your leg muscles, consider static cycling. You don’t even need to own a bike as your local gym will have a stationary bike, a prevalent piece of cardio gym equipment.
Using a stationary bike is a great, low-impact form of cardio. Pedaling on a stationary bike isn’t the same as cycling outdoors, but it still provides a good workout for your leg and core muscles without the hassle of transporting a bike.
Running is a popular choice for many gym goers and treadmills can be easily accessed by beginners. A treadmill allows you to set the speed and resistance to customize your workout and also includes warm-up and cool-down sessions to minimize the risk of injury.
Running on a treadmill is easier than running on the road and provides a lower-impact alternative that can mimic outdoor running.
Step machines, also known as stair machines or steppers, offer a simple yet effective way to target your lower body muscles including glutes, quads, thighs, and hamstrings. You can adjust the intensity level to suit your fitness level, and incorporate upper body workouts with free weights for a full-body exercise.
Rowing machines provide a full-body exercise that targets the arms, legs, back, and core. It is known for tightening abs and aiding in fat loss, while also enhancing balance and strength. The speed and intensity of the workout can be adjusted based on fitness levels.
Elliptical machines offer a low-impact, full-body cardio exercise that is gentle on the joints, making them a popular choice for beginners. They can also be used as part of High-Intensity Interval Training, providing versatility in workout options.
High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, involves brief bursts of intense activity alternated with short recovery periods, which can be personalized to include various exercises such as cycling, stepping, or sprinting. It offers numerous health benefits and can be adjusted for beginners.
Indoor swimming offers an entertaining and effective full-body cardio exercise that is gentle on the body, making it suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. It’s an excellent option for those recuperating from injuries and can be an alternative to other forms of exercise.
Cardio Dance Classes
Who doesn’t enjoy dancing? It’s social, fun, and can help alleviate stress after a long work week. But did you know that dancing is also a fantastic form of cardio exercise? Gym classes often feature high-energy dance routines set to catchy music to take advantage of this.
Most gyms offer cardio dance classes, although they may go by different names. If you’re interested, inquire at your local gym. For those not keen on using gym equipment, these classes are an excellent way to stay in shape, as your body is your only equipment. Some classes may also incorporate the use of resistance bands or light weights.
With cardio dancing, you’ll get your heart pumping and improve blood circulation, leading to better cardiovascular health. Additionally, it enhances strength, stamina, and flexibility. Dancing also acts as a mood booster, lifting your spirits even more than it burns calories.
If you haven’t heard of cardio calisthenics, don’t worry. Calisthenics involve gymnastic exercises primarily using your body weight for exercise. Cardio calisthenics, which can be quite high intensity, offers the same types of exercise and is a great cardio exercise.
Many gyms offer this full-body aerobic exercise, requiring little to no equipment. It helps build strength, tone muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance flexibility and balance. Utilizing your body weight as resistance results in many benefits and reduces the risk of injury compared to other forms of cardio exercises. However, beginners may need some guidance, so consider booking a session or two with a personal trainer for assistance.
Other Resistance Machines
Every gym has its selection of weights-based resistance machines, commonly used for weight training to increase muscle definition and strength. However, they can also be used for a cardio exercise.
By using lighter weights and aiming for more repetitions, nearly any piece of gym equipment can be turned into a cardio workout. If you’re unsure how to do this, ask for help from the gym staff, who are there to assist you and will be happy to do so.
As you become more familiar with the equipment, you’ll discover which machines provide the best gym cardio workout. To keep things interesting, vary your routine and alternate the use of different equipment for a full-body exercise, ensuring you never get bored of cardio exercises again.